Kenya reviewing death penalty

March 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – The government is in the process of reviewing the death penalty as provided for in the constitution to address the plight of over 4,000 condemned prisoners, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said on Friday.

Mr Musyoka said his office was in consultation with the Attorney General’s and Office of the President to agree on the way forward, which may mean considering whether to abolish the death penalty ahead of the constitution review.

“Some African countries like Rwanda have already abolished the death penalty. We may go in that direction if there is consensus,” he said.

The Vice President was speaking during the presentation of four New Holland agricultural tractors worth Sh16 million, and other facilities for the country’s penal institutions, at Jogoo House.

The supplies included toilet paper worth Sh7 million, and 51,000 uniforms for Prison staff. The tractors were bought by the government through Ministry of Home Affairs, which is under the VP’s docket.

Mr Musyoka also revealed that his ministry had released Sh38.9 million for the construction of modern sanitary facilities to replace the repugnant and indecent bucket toilet system still in use in 39 prison facilities in the country.

The VP further assured that the ministry has put a stop to land grabbing in the penal institutions and urged officers in charge to fully utilise their parcels of land.

He challenged the Provincial Prisons Commanders to ensure that the funds allocated to officers were well utilised and for the intended purposes.

The Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice President, Dr Ludeki Chweya, said the purchase of the tractors was a first step to revitalising the Prison Enterprises and enable the institution be self sufficient in food production, also for sale, to boost the department’s revolving fund.

He said the Ministry has already purchased and distributed mattresses to all inmates at a cost of Sh20 million saying the inmates will never sleep on the floor again.

The Commissioner of Prisons, Mr Isaiah Osugo said the prisons department is committed to upholding human rights as per the United Nations recommendations.


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