Khalwale’s shocking claim on what caused deaths of Kakamega Pri. School pupils angers leaders

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 4 Feb, 2020 14:20 | 4 mins read
Khalwale said Tuesday that some churches that hold their worship at the school on Sundays orchestrated the deaths through evil interventions. [PHOTO | FILE]

By Abel Amala and Brian Okoth

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has attracted the wrath of Western Kenya leaders after he sensationally alleged that 14 pupils, who lost their lives at Kakamega Primary School following a stampede on Monday, were sacrificed for Satanic gains.

Speaking at the school on Tuesday, February 4, Khalwale said some churches that hold their worship at the school on Sundays orchestrated the deaths through evil interventions.

“Mr minister [Prof. George Magoha], I want you to prevail upon the head-master of this school. This school should be used only by pupils, teachers and parents. Kakamega Primary School is rented out to churches every Sunday. I am now asking the minister to ban church activities within the school. Why am I saying so? You know that there are churches which are of questionable practice, especially how they deal with our children,” said Khalwale.

“I am a doctor of medicine, and I am telling you that all the 14 children who died, none had wounds oozing fresh blood. We want the minister to know that we won’t allow anybody, including the church, to consume our children’s blood, and sacrifice them through Satanic worship,” said Khalwale to the shock of a section of Western Kenya leaders.


Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala has termed Khalwale’s remarks as “insensitive” to the families, whose children died in the tragedy; and “disrespectful” of the Church.

“I urge my fellow politicians to be sensitive and refrain from being political on the deaths of our children. I am disappointed by former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale’s remarks. That was so insensitive of him, and it is disrespectful to the families mourning their children. Khalwale, this is not the time to speculate and politick on [the possible cause of] our children’s deaths, it is time to pray with the community. Don’t point an accusing finger at the Church. Never say churches have killed our children, let investigators get to the bottom of the matter. I feel aggrieved by Khalwale’s remarks. He should apologise to churches in Kakamega County for linking them to the 14 children’s deaths,” Malala told K24 Digital.

Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali also faulted Khalwale for “speculating” on the cause of the deaths, and asked the former senator to be patient as investigations continue.

“The deaths are shocking. We shouldn’t speculate on the cause of the children’s deaths; let investigators do their work, and give us the facts on what led to the demises of the kids,” Shinali told K24 Digital.

In Magoha’s own words

On Tuesday morning, Education minister Prof. George Magoha, PS Belio Kipsang, Government spokesperson Cyrus Oguna, area Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, area MP Titus Khamala, among others, visited the school, assuring parents, teachers, Lurambi community and Kenyans at large that the State will provide emotional and financial support to the affected families.

“I am the father of all those children [who lost their lives]; the 14 of them. I bring the condolences of His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, the entire Cabinet of this country and the entire Government. We share the pain. I am very familiar with this school. I was in this school less than two months ago. It is one of the finest schools in Kenya, led by the finest teachers. I was able to witness pupils going up and down the staircases. I am, therefore, perplexed by what could have caused the stampede,” said Education minister George Magoha while addressing parents and pupils at Kakamega Primary School on Tuesday.

“As a Christian, I would want the truth [to be unveiled] at whatever cost. I want us to take strength in God; He gives life and takes life. In my life, I have been involved with treatment and dealing with death. However, yesterday [Tuesday, February 3], I could not be able to withstand this one. There is nobody, including myself, that is perfect. If there was a mistake, let us identify it, learn from it and move forward.

“We shall be together with you, even from the National Government. We have decided as a Ministry that the children should rest for the rest of this week. We will open counselling centres for parents and children at this school.

“On Monday, a report on a thorough assessment of the situation should be presented to me.

“Let us keep speculation out of this. Let us get the facts, and action will be taken. I would like to plead with you to allow our children leave this place first. We shall not relent, we shall continue to invest in this school using the infrastructure money.

“I do not think that the number of children studying at this school contributed to the deaths. The head-teacher has always been in control, and nobody is going to tell me that the children started running on their own… That is hogwash! But, let us wait and see.”

Top grades

The minister disclosed that of the 14 learners, who died on Monday, 5 were male and 9 were female.

“Two of the deceased were in Class Four, whereas the remaining 12 were in Class Five,” said the Education CS.

Magoha said the total student population at Kakamega Primary School is 3, 128, with 296 enrolled to the early childhood education programme.

The CS said the learning centre has 70 teachers employed by the Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC) and four by the Board of Management.

“The school has an average of 64 pupils per stream, and it has 51 classrooms,” said the minister, who went ahead to claim that due to the school’s history of posting top grades in KCPE, Kakamega Primary School has been popular among parents.

“In 2019, they posted a KCPE mean score of 333 marks out of the possible 500; in 2018, they had an average score of 338 marks; in 2017, they posted a mean score of 336 marks; in 2016, they had 322 marks; and in 2015, they posted a mean score of 328 marks,” said Magoha, who firmly stated he won’t accept a less-convincing finding on the cause of the fatal stampede.

“Children were running, but you won’t tell me they were running over nothing,” said Magoha.


Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale wanted to address the gathering after Magoha had spoken, but wasn’t allowed to breach protocol.

In an attempt to play down the situation, Magoha said: “Dr Khalwale is my colleague; we are doctors, we shall talk at another forum.”

Afterwards, Khalwale addressed the press, making the baffling “Satanic sacrifice” allegations.

The ex-senator went ahead to claim Kakamega Primary School needs a structural overhaul to avert deaths arising from possible stampedes in the future.

“This building is functionally defective. Why am I saying so? Young children run around often. So, the building should be equipped with ramps, not only staircases. When a child falls on a ramp, he or she only rolls, and never injures himself or herself,” said Khalwale.

K24 Digital has reached the Church fraternity for comment on Khalwale’s allegations.