Kenyan authorities struggling to explain disastrous terror drill

One Injured student being rushed to the nearest hospital

One injured student being rushed to the nearest hospital

A day after a botched terror drill at the Nairobi-based Strathmore University killed one and injured 30 students and staff members, the National Police and University leadership are on the defensive explaining how the exercise went horribly wrong.

On Monday, Strathmore University security officers in coordination with Nairobi Police conducted what was supposed to be a mock terror attack to test the campus community readiness to respond to real life terrorist shooting but in the process one life was lost and dozens of students were injured.

Eye witnesses say live bullets were fired and pandemonium ensued as frightened students jumped through windows and emergency exits falling from as high fifth floor. Many crawled in the sewage system.

“We were literally jumping from windows, we were not informed of this exercise ahead of time, this was a terrorist attack not a terror drill,” one angry furious student told Afrika Reporter.

Japheth Koome, Nairobi Police told Reuters news agency on Monday that the drill followed appropriate protocol but the Inspector General of Kenya Police Joseph Boinett vowed a thorough investigation into the incident and stressed the bungled and deadly exercise must not happen again.

“Security drill on preparedness is a very highly professional activity and must follow protocol on modalities of authorization,” Boinnet said in a statement on Tuesday.

Strathmore University Vice-Chancellor John Odhiambo, acknowledged he himself wasn’t aware of the drill. Mr. Odhiambo issued an “unreserved apology to every student, parent, family, colleague and stakeholder for the unfortunate outcome of the security drill.” and promised reveled the university will foot the hospital bills of the injured students and provide counselling services to help students deal with trauma.

The country’s Cabinet Secretary (CS) in charge of Education, Science and Technology, Dr Fred Matiang’i has tasked the Strathmore University authorities to explain the tragic event. The minister called for a comprehensive investigation into the matter and accountability for the officials responsible.

Kenya has been subject of terror attacks at the hands of terror group Al-Shabaab based in Somali. This April, the group claimed responsibility of the Garissa University attack in which nearly 150 people mostly students, were killed.

This security scare and failure has prompted public uproar in Kenya and beyond as many are asking how the terror attack drill could have gone tragically wrong.