WRONG OCCUPANTS

Petty offenders fill prisons while the corrupt roam free

Kenyan prisons should be holding high-ranking personalities who steal from the public and state officials who help them

In Summary

• Cases of businesspeople charged with tax evasion should either end with them behind bars or acquitted fairly. 

• Judiciary should act on people charged with economic crimes and people who collude with them to abet crime. 

The Shimo La Tewa Prison in Mombasa
WAR ON GRAFT: The Shimo La Tewa Prison in Mombasa
Image: ELKANA JACOB

Despite Kenyan prisons heaving under the weight of a surpassing population of 54,000 criminals, the prisons still remain starved of the real criminals.

The normal holding capacity of a Kenyan prison is 32,000 evoking a feeling that only petty offenders rot in prison going by the high-end prosecution of corruption cases going on in courts.

The notion that conjures up in the mind is that only cabbage and chicken thieves make the majority of residents of the correctional institutions. Or maybe Kenya is just a criminally ill society that needs more correctional facilities.

What aggravates the illness of our motherland is that there is a confederacy of ill-minded law custodians who conspire with criminals to perpetuate decadence around us. It is paradoxical for a drug baron to enjoy full-time security provided by government policemen who do it in triplet-shifts. Such a disapproving act cannot escape the knowledge of high-ranking officers in the police force. It only points to a web of conspiracy to perpetuate an illegality.

That a businessman can evade taxes amounting to billions points us to conniving KRA officers who line their pockets with the money meant for public use while abetting tax fraud. That a governor can chair a meeting of cartels to scheme on money laundering meant for development is a chronic illness in the mind and morals of such a leader.

All these are economic criminals who belong in prison. Our Judiciary can do better. Drug barons, land grabbers, tax evaders and mega corruption still wine and dine as they enjoy ill-gotten wealth.

Kenya will be rid of corruption when the Judiciary acts high-profile personalities aiding economic crimes. We need our prisons to be occupied with correct criminals. 

Via E-mail