Nursery school going children were on Monday tear-gassed by anti-riot police in Nyalenda slums, Kisumu.
The mid-morning incident was caught on tape and shared on various social sites, drawing an uproar from Kenyans and a demand for accountability.
The incident occurred at St Peter’s Awich Kodingo ECDE at 11 am as the pupils learned how to read and write. According to school’s founder Beatrice Schnelli-Okello, armed police “unlawfully” entered into the school premises and hurled tear gas at the minors aged between 3 and 7.
“They attacked us without any due regard for the children aged between 3-7 years and staffers. It took the intervention of teachers and good Samaritans to evacuate and aid the little ones to safety,” Beatrice told the Nation on yesterday.
“It is unfathomable to involve innocent children, within school premises, and further risk their lives. The children are traumatised and some have suffered injuries,” she said.
The school’s head teacher Eunice Odhiambo added: “The anti-riot police were outside the gate demanding the children to be released from classes. They suddenly lobbed teargas into the school compound that exploded right at the entrance of one of the classes, chocking pupils.”
She said she had to hide in the administration block for two hours as police officers pursued her after realising she was recording a video.
Police have, however, denied attacking the minors. Kisumu County police boss Titus Yoma said no anti-riot police were deployed to the area.
“There were no riots in Nyalenda hence we cannot claim any responsibility. Our officers were focused on Kondele where the riots were rampant,” he said.
Watch the video above.