Kiambu people battling for bursary forms

During a commotion at Githurai 45 in Ruiru, Kiambu County, where scholarship applications were being handed out, one person died and many others were hurt.

Survivors said that the dead were pushed to the ground because thousands of people were fighting over who should be taken care of first.

The gathering was substantial. James (now dead) was number 783 when they began shoving each other in the lines.

Sadly, he fell, and other people ran over him. Ms. Kawira described how three other ladies were hurt and sent to a local hospital.

James Atanga, a 45-year-old father of two, was taken to the Kenyatta University Teaching, Research, and Referral Hospital for care but was pronounced dead as soon as he got there.

His wife, Pamela Munyangi, said in a statement at the Kenyatta University Funeral Home, where his body was later taken, that he had left early in the morning to pick up a bursary application for their four-year-old.

"About 6:00 a.m., a friend called and asked him to pick up a bursary form. When he arrived, there were an awful lot of unruly individuals jostling and struggling for positions in the line," she responded. "My spouse was caught in the rush and died."

"Simon King'ara, a Ruiru Member of Parliament who was handing out the papers, had pleaded with the locals in need to come up in large numbers to take advantage of the few opportunities during the previous week."

Elias Sawe, a dead person's niece, questioned the method used to distribute the forms and said that the MP's office might have handled the throng more effectively.

"We are aware of the current economic circumstances. People will show up in large quantities if you call and offer them bursaries.

"My uncle wasn't supposed to have died; the MP ought to have been aware of it and taken adequate precautions to handle huge gatherings," he said.

The distribution of the forms was not stopped, and they are now helping another group in Mwihoko ward.

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