NAIROBI, Kenya, May, 11 – Commissioner General of Prisons Isaiah Osugo has refuted reports that there was an attempt by the Al Shabaab militia to rescue their colleagues from the Kamiti Maximum Prison last week.
Speaking to reporters at the facility on Monday, the Prison boss however stated that two men who were later identified as Administration Police officers had gone to visit their relative there and were not allowed to enter since they had government issued firearms.
He indicated that a report was made and both the AP officers and the Prisons official who is working recorded statements and were sent on their way.
“They are serving AP officers who are stationed at Dagoretti and they were coming here to see a relative who is with us here and then they were not allowed to enter the facility when they were found to be having fire arms. They were able to account for the firearms and they were allowed to go where they belong. They have so far made statements to police and our officers have also done the same,” he stated.
“There were no terrorists coming to this institution last week. They were government officers with government firearms and they have made statements to the police. A fire arm is an item issued to an officer and he is responsible to account for it so if they were on duty then and they passed by and said let us say hi to our brother here, I find no problem with that. And in any case they never entered the institution beyond the main gate but went back to resume their duties.”
While emphasizing that that the prison also contained terror suspects, he reiterated that great care was taken so that they do not interact with other prisoners.
“Those are acts that are far away from this institution. This is a very clean institution that is used solely for rehabilitating prisoners. We have workshops behind there and inmates are involved in various activities like tailoring, making of beds and even other furniture so what goes on in here is actually rehabilitation,” he said.
Reports in a local daily had earlier indicated that Police held a Kamiti Prison officer for questioning after he was found with four guns in his house minutes after four Somali men drove into the prison to visit him.
It was claimed that the guns were found in the warder’s house as word went round that an attempt by Al Shabaab to rescue their colleagues from the prison had been thwarted and suspicious prison warders alerted the authorities.
In the meantime, a prisoner who was serving a life sentence at the Kamiti Maximum Prison but escaped two months ago has been re-arrested in Uganda.
Osugo told reporters that Samuel Munene who was convicted for robbery with violence feigned being lame for eight years and was on a wheel chair when he was taken to KNH for a check-up by prison wardens.
The Prisons boss stated that it was while receiving treatment that he managed to surprise the prison officials and escaped there custody where after he ditched his prison clothes and found his way across the border.
“We are seriously committed to ensure that we do not unleash danger to the public. We keep these people here so that we guarantee public safety outside the institutions. We have officers guarding the inmates wherever they go. They was however some negligence on the officers part and they are in court for allowing this to happen,” he stated.
He stressed that that was an isolated case and while the prisoner has been brought back to the institution, disciplinary action was being taken against the wardens who allowed him to escape.
“He escaped, the officers were there and they could not account for why he escaped, they did not give him permission to go home and I think the next step for us was to hand them to the police for negligence. Cases of escape are quite rare, but we have set up a team that monitors them and bring them back as we have done this one,” he explained.