My 15 year-old daughter, Ebbie Noelle Samuels, just recently joined Form 1 at Gatanga CCM school. On Saturday 9th March, at 7:47am, I was called by the principal of the school, Ms.Veronica Wanjiku Mwangi, with news that my daughter was unwell and I should rush to Naidu Hospital in Thika and that I shouldn’t go alone.
I left for Thika, accompanied by my friend, but on the way I decided to call my cousin to check on the situation before I got there, since she lives in Thika.
On arriving at the school at about 9:35am, I found my daughter’s lifeless, ice cold, body with a swollen tummy. She also had foam in her nostrils. On inquiring to know what had happened, the principal told me that my daughter had gone to sleep the previous night, but failed to wake up in the morning.
She went on to add that my daughter had run a cross country the previous day, finishing among the first 10, out of 900 girls. Later on, she ate dinner, went for evening preps, then did her laundry before saying goodnight to all 1st Form students from 3 dorms and going to bed. When she failed to wake up the following morning, her dorm mates alerted the matron, who came and found her to be unresponsive.
The Principal of Gatanga CCM says that the matron called the Deputy Principal at 7:05am, who then issued instructions to have my daughter’s clothes changed and then taken to the hospital. The hospital note indicates that they received a dead body, meaning she had been dead all along. I made plans to move her body to Nairobi and then proceeded back to the school. I met the Deputy Principal and asked her what had happened and she quickly replied, “It’s what the principal told you” and then she left.
We met the Principal and asked her if we could see where my daughter slept, but she refused, saying we would cause anxiety to the students. We then asked her to allow us take her belongings, which she allowed us to do, after we insisted. We collected her stuff and left.
Among the things we collected was a bucket of wet clothes, which the Principal had said were clean clothes, yet they were mixed with dirty ones. This, even after the Principal, Ms. Veronica, had earlier said that my daughter had washed her clothes and hung them on the lines.
3 different autopsies conducted by the government pathologist, the school’s pathologist and an independent one, hired by the family, have all proven that my daughter died from a head injury inflicted by a blunt object. She bled at the vertex of her brain on the left side and right side.
Why is the school giving scant information? What is the Principal, Ms. Veronica, hiding? How is it that our daughters can’t be safe even within a school compound? Who hit my daughter on Friday night and left her for dead at the school dorm? Please help me get justice for my daughter. #SemaUkweli #JusticeForEbbieSema Ukweli Kenya
Courtesy of Boniface Mwangi
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