Police in Rukwa Region have arrested three Standard Six pupils from Nkomolo One Primary School in Nkasi District for allegedly setting fire on a staff room.
A manhunt for six other suspected offenders has been mounted. Reports from the school had it that the nine pupils have been identified as notorious truants and that they allegedly committed the crime because they oppose the decision reached by the school committee to summon their parents for interrogation over their absenteeism. The names of the suspects have been withheld for investigation purposes.
The Rukwa Regional Police Commander (RPC), Mr George Kyando, confirmed the arrest of the three pupils who are still in police custody in Namanyere Town in Nkasi District for interrogation.fire a staffroom using kerosene. All furniture as well as books were reduced to ashes.
“When interrogated, the three arrested suspects admitted to have committed the crime by sprinkling kerosene in the staff room before setting it on fire. They aimed at setting the entire school on fire,” the RPC said.
Nkomolo One Primary School’s Head Teacher , Mr Richard Kasomo, told the ‘Daily News’ yesterday that the arrested three pupils are among eleven who have been identified as notorious truants.
“On the material day I dispatched letters to parents and guardians on the eleven hardcore truants asking them to attend a school committee meeting where they would be interrogated over the absenteeism of their children.
“If found guilty they would be taken to task together with their children” he said. He added that “ at around 8:00 pm on the same day the suspected pupils torched the school’s staffroom.
It was established that they are against the interrogation of their parents by the school committee over their absenteeism,” added Mr Kasomo. He explained further that the truants engaged themselves in casual labour and since they earned money they are capable of purchasing kerosene which was used in the fire incident.
Narrating the ghastly incident, Mr Kasomo said since the school is located near the highway, people who passed nearby saw the fire erupting at the school premises. They raised alarm which attracted many people including school teachers who live close to the school.
“Neighbours and our teaching staff rushed to the school and extinguished the fire by using water.
The staff room smelt of kerosene which was poured all over in the room mostly on the furniture and the books “ added Mr Kasomo. 3 Rukwa students arrested over arson Continued from Page 1 He said another key driver