Thursday, November 20, 2008

Whatever Are Prison Warders Smoking?

The horrendous conditions in our prisons are no secret. Just google Kenyan Prisons and you’ll get the picture. I’m not expecting anything 5-star to be reported about them, they’re prisons after all, but still I’d expect them to be more like correctional facilities and not a factory for broken men. The recently aired beating of prisoners at Kamiti Prison are a shock to anyone who gets to view the clip. The Prisons Department Spokesman says that prison officials are allowed to use force in some instances but there is still such a thing as basic human rights.

As usual we hear the now almost offending phrase ‘the police are going to investigate’. ‘The matter is going to be probed’. But in Kenya these probes are known to be the end of the case. Other than appoint a new Commissioner of Prisons, what else has been done or is being done about the Marsden Madoka report? Trust me when they ‘probe’ this current matter, it’s going to be probed as a stand alone and yet it’s obviously a culmination of years of rot in the prisons department. We all know about the continued frustration of the prison officers but that does not absolve them from the chillingly animalish brutality they displayed herding together stack naked full grown men and thrashing them.

I’ve received enough of those annoying SMSs that are said to come from prisons but this time I commend the one prisoner who captured the incident – never mind he was not supposed to have a phone in there in the first place.

There is also word that the taping was done by a concerned warder and not a prisoner after all. True it’s wrong to have contraband, weapons, cigarettes and mobile phones in prison but how do they get there if not with the co-operation of the very warders who meted the beating?

Were the warders operating on a sober mind? Is the human being wired like that? I wonder where our friend was during the incident?


BP 1 said...

Shiko, your are right what our prison warders are doing is senseless and inhuman but the problem is not what they smoke (am sure they smoke something strong ) .

I think the case here is the matter of the prison warders venting their frustrations on the prisoners.

We very well know prison warders are mistreated by the Kenya government in all aspects especially the housing conditions, it is said;
“80% of Kenya’s prison guards have no homes, even as the Prisons Department failed to use millions of shillings it was given to build better housing and sanitation facilities” reveals Madoka report which was compiled when Prison warders went on strike in April protesting over poor pay and a hostile work environment.

Many of the warders say they receive little supplies from their employer, forcing them to buy uniforms from the army and the police services. Warders have criticized the Kenyan government for neglecting them while placing too much emphasis on improving the welfare of prisoners.
It seems the warders , in turn , are venting there annoyance with higher authority on the helpless prisoners, believe me the situation will never be good any sooner, may be until the government fully implements the recommendation stated in the Madoka report.

SupremeGREAM said...

I heard of the torture claims but I really didnt take them seriously. I thought it was one of those Human Rights Commission claims. Then I watched Late Night news on TV. I couldnt believe my eyes! I cant believe the world could still be this crooked. The same wardens doing the beating are the same ones who sneak phones, cigarettes and other merchandise to inmates! It was really really sad. The best way to curb this is to fire the Prisons boss first, fire his crooniez, and all those involved in the inhuman beating, and install CCTV to cover every inch of the prisons. This cameras should be operated preferably outside the prison by a body like the Human Rights Commission or anybody else with integrity.

Maua said...

Heheheehe, this actually happened to people, at first I was looking for animals, bt it occurred to me even animals deserve better.

Families should sue the prison, John Chigiti should be interested with this.

Shiko-Msa said...

BP the prison officials are a frustrated lot but still...... that was too much. But the con games continue. Just this morning I got another of those messages. ati I've won 50,000/- and i should sambaza 250 bob or something like that. I'm doubting whether it's only coming from the prisons.

Too bad Greamz the world is evidently still very crooked. The cameras are a good idea if they shall be well maintained and if the crooked officials will not try to play dirty with any images captured. The prison boss and some warders have been put on compulsory leave awaiting the so called investigations. what investigations we all saw what happened!

Maua it was done to humans. And what's more, 4 of them are nursing burn wounds after the warders poured hot water on them. Families will sue alright and they're lucky they'll get free legal services.

Peter Njenga said...

This is misplaced diverted aggression.
Despite their poor living and working conditions, the prison warders should not mistreat the prisoners like we saw on TV.
Two wrongs never make a right, the brutality and blatant abuse of human rights that happened at Kamiti simply cannot be justified.

BP 1 said...

Peter Njenga @ 11.35. I agree with you, the warder’s brutality can’t be justified but the bottom line is that the best we can expect from a frustrated lot is aggression; either they displace their violence on innocent persons or on their souls by committing suicide. Tell me which of these options is justified?

“Frustration is the wet nurse of violence.” David Abrahansen

Shiko-Msa said...

Peter Njenga to be able to scald a fellow human being with hot water one needs to be a complete sadist, aggrieved or not. I can just imagine how the warders held a meeting and agreed on the things they'd do to the hapless prisoners.

1. Strip them animal naked
2. Beat the hell out of them
3. Boil water and pour on them

This is just sick!!

BP the warders are not frustrated by the prisoners but by the system. Turning their anger on the prisoners in that manner is just wrong.