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December 14, 2018

Joy as Thika GK prison opens door for 36 inmates after Uhuru pardon

Thika GK prison warden brief prisoners who were released from the facility on Saturday, May 12, 2018. /JAMES WAINAINA
Thika GK prison warden brief prisoners who were released from the facility on Saturday, May 12, 2018. /JAMES WAINAINA

At least 36 prisoners were set free from Thika GK prison following the presidential pardon issued two months ago.

The pardon for the eight female and 28 male prisoners was in line with the Rapid Response Initiative to decongest prisons.

Most of those released were sentenced to serve terms following minor offences. They did not hide their joy after tasting freedom. 

The Interior ministry targets to release 10,000 inmates to free up prisons in a bid to save the government money.

Read: DPP reviews remandees’ petty charges to decongest prisons

Thika prisons chief warder Mathews Kimanzi urged the prisoners to utilise the skills they learnt while serving their sentence.

He said that most of the people congesting Thika prisons are remandees adding that the government needs to get alternative measures to decongest prisons.

The prison boss asked those pardoned to be disciplined and help the society in nation building.

"They will finish their sentence outside through community work."

Kala Mwanzia, the officer in charge of probation, said another group will be released next week.

Kennedy Muchoki, who was jailed one year for smoking and peddling bhang, said he will now lead a new life.

Mazrene Mulandi, jailed two years over child neglect, said she is remorseful and has learned to be more responsible.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, during an event at Ruiru prisons, ordered the Ministry of Interior to decongest all prisons.

He also challenged prisons to start their own income generating projects to cut their wage bill.

It costs the government about Sh200 per day to keep one person in prison.

Read: Assign petty offenders community jobs to decongest prisons - MP Barasa

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