Makini school row with parent escalates

Makini School

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

A row pitting Makini School's regional managing director and a parent’s association committee chairman has taken a new twist after the manager sued the parent for alleged defamation.

Mr Horace Mpanza filed the case before a Milimani court accusing Mr Nixon Bugo of making defamatory utterances during a meeting held early this month.

He says Mr Bugo knew that the utterances would cause him to suffer distress, embarrassment and jeopardise his relationship with the parents and stakeholders of the school.

Mr Mpanza is seeking a permanent injunction restraining the parent or any persons acting under his instructions from publishing, posting or making any further defamatory statements concerning him.

Principal magistrate Sammy Opande issued an interim order restraining the parent from posting or making any statements or utterances whatsoever regarding Mr Mpanza.

“In the interim, prayer No. 2 is allowed pending the hearing,” the magistrate ruled.

The court directed the matter to be heard on August 2 and ordered the parent to file his response within 14 days.

Court documents state that Mr Bugo called for a virtual meeting of the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) on July 8, which was attended by over 100 parents of the school.

During the meeting, Mr Mpanza said the parent made utterances and publications calculated to defame and demean his reputation in the eyes of the right-thinking persons in the society.

The director claimed said that since foreign owners came to Kenya, parents have been blocked from accessing the school, teachers are allegedly terrified and there are a lot of guns in school.

He further claimed that Mr Bugo alleged that the management has engaged a foreign company to do catering jobs, which can be done by Kenyans and that the school toilets are in a pathetic state, forcing students to scramble to use them in the morning.

Mr Mpanza says the posts have made the school scorned, disliked and have so far injured the good reputation of Makini, its marketability as well as its character.

“The plaintiffs further aver that the information relayed in the said utterances were inaccurate and malicious and intended to injure the plaintiff’s character and outstanding reputation,” he said.

He says he is a distinguished and respected leader who has a track record of over 15 years working in management positions and has worked with South African firm ADvTECH, which acquired the school in 2018, for over 14 years.

He says that the utterances would make right-thinking members of the society believe that the school is an unsafe and hostile warzone where people wield guns in front of students and that Mr Mpanza physically confronts and assaults parents and teachers.

Mr Mpanza further says Mr Bugo allegedly incited other parents in the said meeting and passed several resolutions, which do not have any bearing to the mandates of the PTA including the financial, operational and economic decisions regarding the management of the school.

Among the resolutions allegedly passed were blocking the management from increasing school fees in the next two years and barring the management from dismissing employees within the same period.

The regional MD says Mr Bugo ought to have known that the managing director has never assaulted any person and no person has ever lodged a complaint of assault.

“The defendant ought to know that the 2nd plaintiff does not own a gun and has never owned a gun in his life,” he said.

He says there are no guns in school and there are security checks, through which no guns can be allowed.

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