A school headteacher was on Saturday, August 29, found dangling from the roof of a staffroom in a school in Nyeri.
The body of 53-year-old Joseph Mwangi, a headteacher at Baraka Academy in Nyeri, was found after residents reported to the area chief that a foul smell was emanating from the school.
“The chief found the body partly eaten by what is believed to be rats, dangling from the rooftop, with a sisal rope tied to the neck,” Mathira East police boss James Baraza stated.
Reports indicated that Mwangi was last seen by his landlord around his rented room on Wednesday, August 26.
“Recently, Mwangi was not himself. He was behaving in a strange manner occassioned by financial constraints after the school he was teaching at was closed down,” a neighbour who knew him stated.
Others believed that Mwangi had resulted to taking his own life after he seperated from his family.
The deceased’s body has since been taken to the Karatina Hospital morgue and a probe into the matter launched by police officers.
The Education sector is among the country’s hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, with schools remaining closed since March 2020 and private school teachers surviving without pay.
More than 120,000 of the 155,000 private school teachers in Kenya are struggling to get by, with some head teachers requesting the government to provide them with grants in order to sustain their wage bills of over 288,000 teaching and non-teaching staff.
This in turn causes depression which may lead to suicide.
WHO reports that 800,000 people kill themselves yearly worldwide, which means that 1 person commits suicide every 40 seconds!
Even more shocking is the fact that suicide has been singled out as the second leading cause of death among 15- to 29-year-olds.
While cases of suicide are poorly recorded in Kenya, the upsurge in the coverage of suicide-related deaths is an important indicator of the urgency with which resources ought to be deployed to reduce these otherwise preventable deaths.