Prison wardens recruitment drive characterized by low turnout

The one-day Kenya Prisons recruitment exercise ended on Wednesday amid disappointment by thousands of Kenyans who had presented themselves in various recruitment centers in the country.

This is due to the low number of recruits required to join the service.

In Kisii Central recruitment center over 300 prospective recruits were shocked to learn that the slots reserved were only four.

Jacob Morang’a, one of the candidates was shocked to learn that three males and a female were to be selected to join the service. He petitioned the national government to increase the vacancies to accommodate most unemployed qualified youths.

However, area recruiting officer, Joshua Mutiso, cited failure by some candidates to meet minimum qualifications and turning up at wrong centers as some of the challenges they encountered. Mutiso explained that owing to the limited slots, only four were successful.

Elsewhere, four men and a woman from Machakos Central Sub County were picked.

Recruiting teams also observed that most of those who turned up to be enrolled in the prison service failed to produce their original testimonials which led to their being eliminated at the initial stages of the recruitment.

The five successful recruits from Machakos were expected to start their training at the Prisons Training College in Ruiru, Kiambu County on December 18.

Mr. Yusuf Kaitopok who was in charge of the recruitment exercise told journalists the drive which previously used to attract hundreds of youths went well without any hitch.

The officer who spoke moments after conclusion of the exercise at the Kenyatta Stadium however said they were satisfied with the outcome which he said was done in a transparent manner.

“The recruitment drive kicked off very well at 8 am and was over by 1 pm. We were able to select five candidates that included four men and one woman. We encountered a few challenges but these never impacted on the recruitment in any way,” he told the press.

Minimum grade

Candidates interested in joining the Prison Service were required to be Kenyan citizens with a minimum mean grade of D+ in their secondary school education.

They were also supposed to be aged between 18 years and 28 years for secondary school leavers and be at least 5 feet 4 inches tall for men and 5 feet 2 inches for women.

Between April 27 and 28 this year the Prisons department announced plans to recruit more than 3,000 technicians and artisans in various fields including health workers, teachers, agricultural officers, cooks, videographers and welders.

The minority Ogiek community could also have for the first time managed to secure a position in the ongoing Kenya Prisons Service recruitment exercise.

The assistant commissioner prison who doubles up as the recruiting officer in Molo sub-county in Nakuru, Samuel Rutto noted that the female candidate from Marioshoni area qualified for the position with regards to the several elimination factors such as academic qualifications, age,  physical fitness among others considered during the exercise that the recruits had to undergo before the final selection.

Rutto congratulated the lady saying that the representation within the sub-county was diverse and they were glad that they managed to pick the best six recruits as per the slots given whereby 4 were men.

‘Issues of certificates’

In Busia, four males and a female were recruited during the exercise that kicked off at 9.00 am, with Assistant Prison Commissioner in charge of Shikusa farm Samwel Chepkonga saying 700 applicants turned out for the exercise that was transparent and left the prospective recruits satisfied.

“Most of those who came for the interviews were turned away because of issues of certificates, qualifications, age and other documents that were required for the exercise,” he said.

The team later moved to Nambale Sub County where they are expected to recruit one female and three male candidates.

Evans Oundo however claimed that the exercise was not fair and blamed the officers conducting the exercise for being uncooperative.

“I have participated in three different recruitment exercises in the past and rigging has been the trend,” said Oundo.

‘I am grateful to God for the chance’

Recruitment of prison warders in Makueni Sub County was marred by a low turnout with few youths turning out for the exercise.

Officer in charge of the recruitment Superintendent Patrick Emojel said the turnout was low compared to the previous exercise done in 2017.

“The numbers are fewer than we had anticipated,” said superintendent Emojel.

The superintendent however noted that some of the youths were turned back for failing to produce their original identification documents and academic certificates.

“Quite a number produced photocopied documents and were eliminated in the initial stages,” he said.

Six youths, four male and two female were recruited among them 26 year -old Doreen Mueni who could not hide her joy after she was successful.

“I really needed this job to take care of my twins. I am grateful to God for the chance,” said the elated Mueni.

The recruiting officer for Mandera senior superintendent Isaac Bwire Naderia said the four men and two women would be part of the prison service to strengthen the force.

Bwire said the exercise was free and fair with members of the public allowed to monitor the exercise closely.

Kenya’s correctional facilities hold a total of 56, 000 prisoners in comparison to 22, 500 prison officers, an increase from 45, 000 prisoners that were there in 2016.


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