Wednesday, August 03, 2005

'Ghosts' terrorise girls

Nairobi - Ghosts in the shape of cats and dogs come out at night to terrorise pupils at a girl's school near Nairobi, a Kenyan newspaper reported on Tuesday.

More than 300 girls fled their dormitories at the Mua Girls' secondary school in the Machaos district in the early hours of Monday morning, The Standard reported.

The children believe their school principal, Stephania Koki, is responsible for conjuring up the ghosts.

The girls claimed the ghosts waited until they were in bed, before attacking them. The children fled to the nearby Machakos village, just outside Nairobi.

After intervention by members of the school board and the Catholic church, the girls were directed to a nearby Catholic church where prayers were said.

But the prayers did not allay their fears and they refused to go back to the school.

Kenyan education ministry spokesperson Andrew Kagwa said on Tuesday the department had not received any complaints from parents, pupils or teachers at the school. He put the appearance of the ghosts down to anxiety.

"Learners in Kenya are due to start their mock exams soon," he said. "I guess the girls at Mua are extremely anxious about this important exam."

Before the ghostly incidents, the school was closed down early in July for nearly two weeks after 100 pupils fell ill due to suspected food poisoning. They were treated at hospital for abdominal pain, diarrhoea and vomiting.

Apparently the girls feel that Koki is conjuring ghosts in an effort to get back at them, following reports in the media claiming the dormitories were seldom cleaned and that the ablution facilities were inadequate.


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