Nakuru jamming with prisoners serving short sentences

Nakuru GK Prison is among penal institutions faced with overcrowding due to an increased number of remandees and individuals serving short-term sentences.

Among the 1,750 inmates at the facility, only 526 are convicted while others are remandees attending court hearings in Molo and Nakuru law courts.

The number of people serving short sentences at the facility is higher, thus contributing to overcrowding. For instance, those sentenced to between 3 and 6 months are 118, one day to one month are 84,  one month to three months are 27 and six months to 12 months are 25.

Joseph Muriuki from Gatero village in Laikipia County is among remandees at Nakuru GK Prison, who despite claiming he is innocent has been forced to wait for 17 years before his case is determined by High Court judges. Muriuki, 49, has been behind bars since February 1998 after he was allegedly accused of murdering his mother. He says judges have been dragging his case, making him stay longer at the prison as a remandee. "I am accused of killing my mother, a thing I have never comprehended. I am innocent," Muriuki tells The Standard at the prison.

He says judges keep on postponing his case due to lack of enough evidence, adding that it is better he be convicted instead of serving as a remandee. He adds that whenever he appears before the court, judges keep saying they have not received medical report to convict him.

David Macharia Wamuyu from Nyandarua County is a short-term serving prisoner and was convicted of riding a motorbike without a licence, helmet and a reflector.

The 22-year-old house keeper is serving three months imprisonment. He was arraigned at Nakuru law courts on May 7 and fined with either Sh16,000 or three months imprisonment. Due to lack of money, Macharia had no option but to stay behind bars.

Another short-term prisoner is Richard Cheruiyot from Lower Solai in Rongai sub-county. He was jailed for six months for being in possession of chang'aa. The 25-year-old casual labourer and farmer failed to raise Sh30,000 fine. "I am stressed up. I want to be back home and earn a decent living to support my mother," he says.