NAIROBI, September 17 – Former Prisons Commissioner Gilbert Omondi believes he did his best while at the helm of the department.
Omondi, who headed the penitentiaries for three years until last week, told Capital News that he was leaving the post proud that he had “transformed the penal facilities in the country”, despite warders’ complaints of poor pay, mismanagement and deplorable working conditions.
“I hand over the department knowing that I have achieved numerous successes,” said Omondi, as he passed on the mantle to his successor Isaiah Osugo.
He cited the establishment of a strategic plan 2005-2009 which detailed a comprehensive roadmap for the department, including provision of better housing, improved remuneration and the increase of prison facilities in the country, besides the refurbishment of existing ones.
Three years down the line, however, the plan has not been implemented leading to the countrywide strike by warders three months ago.
The boycott led to the arrest and prosecution of eight senior prison officers for failing to suppress the strike. Although their case was later dismissed, none of the officers has been reinstated.
But according to Omondi, the strike was not justified.
“My office was addressing these issues. I had developed a strategic plan and a service charter that was looking into all the concerns,” he s