By Cyrus Ombati
Six hard-core criminals attempted to escape from Kamiti Maximum Prison.
In the 2am incident on Wednesday, the prisoners had cut several metal grills in their cells and had already come out when a warder on duty spotted them. It is not clear how the inmates obtained the tools they used to cut the grills, but the Commissioner of Prisons Isaiah Osugo said the six inmates, all on death row, were arrested within the compound while looking for a way out.
Osugo said all the six would be charged with attempting to escape from lawful custody.
"Security has been tightened after the attempt, which was thwarted by our officers who were on duty. We will take action on the individuals," he said on the telephone.
Insiders said had it not been for the warder who noticed the movements of the criminals, there could have been a major break.
The incident was the first to affect the main prison, which is usually known for its tight security.
Insiders said among the group was a Ugandan national, who is on a drug trafficking charge.
Osugo said they are making several reforms that will see the institution and others become well-protected.
It is believed the prisoners used hacksaws to cut the grills before trying to make their way out. Authorities said investigations were ongoing to establish how they got the hacksaws.
As part of addressing the problem of smuggling in the institutions, the department recently acquired 60 more dogs. Osugo said the dogs have been trained to detect contraband such as bhang, mobile phones, cigarettes, money and even weapons.
"Smuggling of such goods into the jails has been a problem to us and the public. Now we have up scaled our efforts to contain it," he said.
The canines were assigned to Kamiti, Langata and Industrial Area Remand prisons.
The prisons boss said his department will deploy the dogs in all the 101 jails across the country and install surveillance cameras in major jails to monitor illegal movement of goods and people.