President Kenyatta lauds achievements in the prisons sector

Written By: Muraya Kamunde
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has lauded the Kenya Prisons Services (KPS) for continually instituting the reformation agenda in the correctional services sector.  

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Speaking during the graduation ceremony of 3, 000 recruits at the Prisons Staff Training College in Ruiru, Kiambu County, the President lauded the Service for continuing the tradition of upskilling inmates in areas such as artisanship, agriculture, engineering and other vocations

“When the inmates re-enter society, they do so with skills and competencies that open up opportunities for gainful employment and as well as enterprise,” he said.

President Kenyatta said he was encouraged by the Prison Enterprise’s successful campaign for a cashless transaction to support prison enterprises. He commended the Commissioner-General, Mr Wycliffe Ogallo for the feat.

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“I congratulate you for your revenues that have shot up from a meagre Ksh 2 million to over Ksh 700 million in under a year.  What an achievement. All these and more positive initiatives have not been lost on me; they are clear indications of a truly transformed Kenya Prisons Service.”

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He also touched on the efforts of the State Department for Correctional Services headed by Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS) Dr Fred Matiang’i and the Principal Secretary (PS) Zeinab Hussein, for the establishment of a highly secure Automated Number Plates Production Line.

“The production line will not only guarantee security and quality of Motor Vehicles Registration Plates but also promote local production and manufacturing. Your manufacturing and innovation efforts have maintained a standard that is unparalleled in our country.  A standard I would want you to replicate in other sectors of this country under our Nation’s Big Four Agenda.”

On the environmental front, President Kenyatta said the KPS’s initiative of providing 50 million tree seedlings for the achievement of a 10% forest cover was a challenge to other Kenyans to also be environmentally conscious.

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The President also alluded to the special circumstances and challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, noting that the graduates couldn’t be accompanied by their loved ones for the ceremony. He, however, applauded the efforts of government officers in keeping everyone at the facility safe from the Covid-19.

The President noted KPS’s tireless efforts in instituting legal and institutional reforms in order to institutionalize professionalism within the Service; decongesting prisons, countering violent extremism programs; reacquiring grabbed prison land, including 974 acres in Wundanyi Prison, Eldoret, Muranga and Kitale; and promoting sports within prisons. He challenged the graduates to adhere to the concepts of purpose, justice and fairness.

“And as we graduate this cohort of 3,000 young men and women, and admit them to be custodians of our incarcerated, I want to instruct them on Purpose, Justice and Fairness. These are the three ingredients that make a Great Nation.”

“As new recruits, you must embrace restoration over stigmatization.  This is the emerging order of our corrective services.  I also instruct you to shun prejudice and condemn the misdeeds of those in custody; but not the human spirit in them.  Aspire to repair, to restore and to re-engage the human soul in your spaces of work.  This is how great nations are made,” he added.

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On his part, Dr Fred Matiang’i said that since receiving instructions from the President on the things he needed to be done.

“We have been able to meet most of the objectives you defined for us. We have completed almost all the stalled buildings as you instructed us to; we have also increased the productivity of the enterprise service of the KPS by over 35% and we are on course to increase it further,” the CS said.

Also at the function, were Inspector General of Police (IG) Hillary Mutyambai and Kiambu County Governor Hon. James Nyoro.

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