Dangerous convicts on the loose

(Left to right): Joseph Kinyanjui, Isaac Karanja Mwangi and John Kamau Gathoni.

What you need to know:

  • Prisoners on death row jump out of Kamiti Prison and are on the run.
  • Three inmates take advantage of heavy downpour to stage their jail break.

Three dangerous prisoners serving life sentences have escaped from the Kamiti Maximum Prison.

Joseph Kinyanjui, John Kamau Gathoni and Isaac Karanja Mwangi escaped early Saturday morning at around 1.30am by cutting grills during a blackout at the prison.

The three took advantage of the heavy rains and a blackout to stage the daring escape. They tied together blankets and mosquito nets which they used to descend from their cell walls and scale an equally high concrete wall, to freedom.

It was, however, not clear the timeline between their escape and when the prison wardens discovered that the dangerous criminals had fled as the alarm for manhunt was sounded late.

Kenya Prisons Commissioner General, Mr Isaiah Osugo, said the night downpour concealed their scheme.

He said: “It was raining at that time and there was a three-hour blackout so they took advantage and cut grills of their cells to find their way out.”

Regional Commander Nairobi Area Wanini Kireri said the prisoners are very dangerous but was optimistic they would be apprehended.

These sentiments were shared by Mr Osugo who said they had contacts of their families and “even their identity cards”.

They urged that in the event that the three are spotted, the matter should be reported to the nearest police station or prison.

Commander Kireri said all the guards who were on duty during the escape were under investigations and would be taken to court if found culpable.

ACCIDENTALLY SHOT

Regular Police and Administration Police officers joined the prison officers in the search and combed the nearby estates, including Kahawa Wendani, Kasarani and some villages in Kiambu.

A woman, Ms Elizabeth Wandali, 45, who was driving near the prison was caught in the chase and accidentally shot and injured. It was around 5.30am and she was headed to a slaughterhouse in Kahawa West.

Her sister Ms Mary Nyambura told the Sunday Nation by telephone that her sister was taken to Kenyatta Hospital, bleeding profusely.

She said: “She has three gunshot wounds. Two bullets exited through her arm and her leg but one is lodged under her shoulder. X-rays have been done before she is taken to theatre.”

By 2pm, Ms Wandali was yet to be admitted but had received first aid.

The three were hardcore criminals on death row for various capital offences including rape. Their charge sheets seen by the Sunday Nation indicate they all had already spent close to 10 years at Kamiti.

Kinyanjui, 35, hails from Githunguru in Kiambu County. He is known as a ruthless gangster who terrorised residents of Ongata Rongai on the outskirts of Nairobi for a year before the law caught up with him. He was sentenced to hang.

Mwangi, also, 35, hails from Rocho, Thika County. He was sentenced to hang for colluding with two others to violently rob a Nairobi taxi operator of his car at Senate estate by pretending to be a passenger.

Gathoni, 27, on the other hand, hails from Nyandarua County and was sentenced to hang by a court in Thika for violent robbery.

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