The National Gender and Equality Commission (NGEC) has called for a comprehensive investigation into the incident involving the teargassing of students at Kihumbini Primary School in Kangemi, Nairobi. The Commission strongly condemned the act and urged the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) to conduct an independent inquiry to identify and apprehend those responsible. Joyce Mutinda, Chairperson of the Commission, expressed the urgent need for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the use of teargas during the anti-government protests organized by Azimio la Umoja on July 12.
The NGEC emphasized the importance of safeguarding the safety and well-being of children, stressing that such incidents should never compromise their rights. They demanded justice for the affected students, teachers, and their families. The incident resulted in over fifty pupils, aged between ten and fifteen, being admitted to the Eagle Nursing Home clinic in Kangemi after teargas was deployed in their classroom. According to Nairobi Police boss Adamson Bungei, the teargas may have entered the classroom as police officers attempted to disperse protesters near the school.
The Commission recognized the constitutional right to protest and the duty of the police to maintain order. However, they emphasized the need for the protection of human rights and vulnerable groups, particularly children, during such demonstrations. The NGEC urged authorities to prioritize the well-being of students and ensure that the incident is thoroughly investigated, holding those responsible accountable for their reprehensible actions.