Fear has gripped parents and students within Isiolo township following reports that a serial killer from the neighbouring Meru County is on the loose.
In the mornings, a large number of parents, whose children school around the town, are seen escorting them to the various institutions, while others accompany the students to bus stops in fear of the alleged killer.
Joseph Kileru, a businessman, is said to have killed one person and injured 17 others at Muriri Market in Meru, on Tuesday, after driving into a crowd and stabbing people before escaping to Isiolo on a motorbike.
Man drives car into a crowd at Muriri Market in Tigania East, Meru County, 17 people injured as a result.
— Kenya Red Cross (@KenyaRedCross) September 30, 2019
So high is the tension in the area that fathers, who ordinarily let their wives and house helps take children to school, have to step up and escort the pupils themselves every morning.
In a panic move, parents at Mwangaza Primary School, on Tuesday, went to pick up their children during school hours after rumours spread that the alleged killer was spotted near the school. However, only grade one to grade three pupils were allowed to leave.
“We would rather stay with our children at home until their security is guaranteed,” Jane Kendi, a parent at the school, lamented.
It took the intervention of Isiolo County Director of Education, Dr Hussein Keriyow Ali, to calm the scared parents down, assuring them that security officers were aware of their concerns and on the lookout for the suspect.
Some parents were, however, hesitant to leave their children in the school and opted to camp there until school hours were over.
“It is unfortunate that they have prevented the pupils from going home with us. It is torturous to us and our children. We are going to camp here until 4.00 pm,” Mary Kanini, another parent, vowed.
Parents at the school now want police officers to be deployed to the institution to guarantee the safety their children and the teaching fraternity.