Security beefed up as prison officers’ recruitment starts

Kenya Prisons Service nationwide recruitment

The Kenya Prisons Service has kicked off its nationwide recruitment of prison constables in various counties.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

The Kenya Prisons Service has kicked off its nationwide recruitment of prison constables in various counties.

Security was beefed up across the recruitment centres following last year’s breach during KDF recruitment in Nandi County where a 22-year-old woman who had allegedly been attending the exercises incognito confessed to having been trained in weaponry handling, kidnapping, robbery with violence and use of explosives by Al-Shabaab militants.

The woman was arrested by DCI detectives following a tip off from the public and handed over to the Anti-Terror Police Unit.

Today’s recruitment that began around 8am in the listed recruitment centres is seeking to admit to the service Kenyan citizens aged between 18 and 28 years, medically and physically fit individuals with no past criminal records.

They will also be required to have valid national identity cards and a minimum Kenya National Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) grade of D+ and above.

Specialised cadets

Specialised cadets will be required to have a KCSE minimum grade of C+ and a relevant undergraduate degree from a recognised institution.

They include medical practitioners and technicians as well as those with degrees relevant to correctional work.

Upon recruitment, the candidates will undergo an intensive nine-month government sponsored para-military initial training course.

“The recruitment will be absolutely free. Bribery and other acts of corruption are unlawful. Any person presenting themselves for recruitment with falsified or fake academic/professional certificates, identity cards or engaging in any acts that amount to corruption shall be disqualified, arrested and prosecuted,” prison boss Brigadier (Rtd) John Warioba said in a statement.

Mr Warioba added that anyone attempting to issue calling letters away from the recruitment centres should be treated as a criminal.

Keep off recruitment centres

Last week, the Prisons boss ordered all staff not participating in the exercise to stay away from the recruitment centres.

The additional staff will help tighten supervisory systems at the country’s prisons following last year’s escape and recapture of terror convicts from one of the country’s maximum security facilities.

After the incident, the government initiated a series of changes to boost security and enhance management of the prisons.

President Uhuru Kenyatta sacked former prisons boss Wycliffe Ogalo and replaced him with Mr Warioba who is tasked with overseeing changes and tightening gaps that are fuelling a cavalier attitude amongst the staff.

Later, the President replaced Correctional Services PS Zeinab Hussein with Ms Safina Kwekwe.

Nairobi Metropolitan Services Deputy Director-General Kangéthe Thuku was also named Chief Administrative Secretary for Correctional Services, a move that was two weeks later rescinded.

On January 12, Mr Kangéthe was named the new Nairobi Regional Commissioner by Interior PS Karanja Kibicho following a fresh round of transfers of senior administration officials across the country.

The government has also set aside Sh800 million to build security walls and complete pending development projects within prisons and boost industry programmes countrywide.

The prisons enterprise programme that is intended to generate revenue and rehabilitate convicts had stalled, making prisoners idle, a recipe for chaos and jail break attempts.