At least 20 striking inmates at Kamiti prison ‘badly injured’

Kamiti Maximum Prison

Prison warders walk past the entrance of the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison in Nairobi, on November 18, 2021.

Photo credit: Simon Maina | AFP

Some 20 inmates at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison were allegedly beaten badly by officers over their involvement in a protest on Thursday over lack of food and restrained movement.

A source told the Saturday Nation that the beatings were so bad that the warders are concerned whether one inmate, a Sudanese national identified as Makoi Madak, will make it alive after being assaulted by officers.

Most of the victims were those who were captured shouting from the rooftops of the prison. In addition to the beatings, the source revealed that they were subsequently transferred to Naivasha Maximum Prison yesterday morning.

Chaos rocked the correctional facility last Thursday after it emerged that the food rations offered to the inmates were reduced three weeks after three terror convicts escaped from the prison.

The convicts claimed that they had had their last meal on Wednesday evening and had clocked 24 hours without any food before the protests started. The inmates refused to take porridge offered to them on Thursday morning saying it was of poor quality.

In addition, they protested the restriction of movement inside the prison, with details emerging that the inmates of Block G had been placed in total isolation for the past three weeks.

Food rations

But the new boss at the prison is to blame, another source revealed, saying that the food rations, including fruits, had been greatly reduced.

“We used to have oranges for some special inmates, but we have not seen any since the new officer in-charge came. We only have bananas. Some inmates do not even remember the last time they sat under the sun,” he said.

The Saturday Nation has also established that warders are not happy by the sad affairs at the facility with one revealing that he had his relative in the same prison and that it was very difficult seeing him suffer under the new administration.

Most of them are concerned by the indifference of their boss, who is said to have refused to address the inmates when they demanded for a meeting on Thursday morning before their strike a few hours later.

Efforts by the Saturday Nation to get comments from prisons’ headquarters hit a snag with officials at the Office of the Commissioner General and Director of Operations refusing to comment on the issue of brutality and transfer of inmates from Kamiti Prison.

A subsequent message sent to the commissioner general’s official email went unanswered by the time of publication.

Last year, three Kamiti prisoners escaped from the maximum facility, leading to a manhunt. Consequently, the head of prisons Wycliffe Ogallo was sacked.

Kamiti head, commandant Charles Mutembei Gerrard, his deputy Joseph Longarianyang and four others were arrested after the prison break.

Brigadier (Rtd) John Kibaso Warioba was appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to replace Mr Ogallo, as the new commissioner general of prisons.