Govt to repossess grabbed prison land

(Cabinet Secretary of Interior and Coordination of National Government Joseph Ole Lenku (centre) on a tour of Shimo La Tewa prison on September 12, 2013. PHOTO/LABAN WALLOGA

What you need to know:

  • Grabbing of prison land has affected expansion of the correctional facilities
  • Individuals who have grabbed land will face the law
  • Working conditions and remuneration for prisons department employees being reviewed

The government will repossess grabbed prison land, Cabinet Secretary of Interior and Coordination of National Government Mr Joseph Ole Lenku has said

He expressed concern over massive land grabbing of prison land which he said has affected expansion of the correctional facilities that are grappling with high number of inmates.

“I want to state that as a ministry we are very concerned about the extent grabbing of prison land. We know there has been a tussle between individuals who have encroached on these properties and we want to put on emphasis that the land will be repossessed and justice will prevail,” he said.

Mr Ole Lenku said the correctional facilities in Kenya need to be improved and expanded to accommodate the justice system in the country and warned individuals who have grabbed land that they would face the law.

He assured the convicts that the ministry together with the Judiciary is repealing the CAP 90 which deals with the prisons to be in line with best practices in regards to the welfare of prisoners.

“The medical department is looking into issues concerning basic health care because we know it needs improvement. The government pledged to improve the health services of each and every Kenyan, and you are among them,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

Speaking during his familiarization tour of the Shimo La Tewa Prison and Correctional Services in Mombasa County, Mr Ole Lenku assured prison warders that their welfare is being reviewed.


He said working conditions and remuneration for police officers and prisons department employees is part of the wider remuneration review.

“The prisons department will also benefit from the wider security sector reforms and this concerns the welfare,  remuneration and the working environment of the officers working in prisons” he assured the officers.

At the same time, he advised young Kenyans to keep off crime and instead uphold the rule of law, saying those released should engage in community services.

“We have heard your cries and issues and we are in consultation with the concerned bodies, be comforted by the fact that we are committed to justice,” he said.

The National Community Service order coordinator Mr Lawrence Mugambi said his department is reviewing a total of 1,200 cases of inmates from all the prisons, some of who may be released soon.

The inmates lamented over segregation, lack of conjugal rights, lack of health care service, congestion, courts being the biggest impediment in acquiring justice.

The principal secretary in charge of coordination,  Mr Josepheta Mukobe said the ministry will look into their pleas, but on she said that conjugal rights could not be allowed because it requires privacy.

“Some of your demands like conjugal rights require privacy, or do you want to do it here? This can only be possible if the facility is expanded,” she said.