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Man serving life sentence sues Kamiti Maximum Prison prison boss

By Fred Makana | August 26th 2016

A convict serving a life sentence at Kamiti Maximum Prison has sued the officer in charge of the facility.

James Mwangi Njoroge, who was found guilty of violent robbery, filed the petition at the High Court and is seeking special damages over his deteriorating health. He has named Attorney General Githu Muigai and the officer in charge of Kamiti Henry Kisungu as respondents.

Njoroge, who is represented by lawyer Joseph Wagara, is demanding Sh475,750 in special and general damages. He claimed that on December 24, 2013 Mr Kisungu issued an order directing that he be transferred from Kamiti to Manyani prison.

He accused prison officials of not releasing his medical documents when he was transferred to Manyani. The convict also wants the court to order that he be given special diet with enough supply of fruits, milk and brown bread.

He told Justice Luka Kimaru that after the transfer, he was forced to attend expensive medical clinics for enhanced diagnosis since prison authorities had not released his medical records.

Njoroge, who has since been transferred back to Kamiti on medical grounds, was sentenced to death on September 30, 2002, after he was found guilty by Kiambu Chief Magistrate's court. His death sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment by the President on August 3, 2009.

He unsuccessfully lodged appeals against the sentence at the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

The convict claims that he was in perfect health when he was convicted and at the time of the hearing and determination of his appeals at the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Njoroge, who is currently on a wheelchair after he contracted tuberculosis, claimed Kisungu and the officer in charge of keeping medical records Patrick Kariuki, who is also a respondent in the case, were fully aware that he was under specialised medical attention and diet. However, he says Kisungu and Mr Kariuki intentionally and negligently declined to release his medical documents and medicine before he was taken to Manyani.

In his response, Kisungu denied the allegations saying the convict is known to make malicious and false allegations to get undue sympathy from prison authorities, courts and any other authority he may get access to.

"The convict has usually been unco-operative with prison authority even before he fell sick," Kisungu told court. The officer said the convict previously suffered from peptic ulcers, inflammatory bowel and a redundant colon and later TB.

"The petitioner receives prompt treatment for his current condition, with good access to Kenyatta National Hospital. He also receives adequate nutritional provision including normal diet for inmates plus sugar, honey, extra pieces of meat and fruits," Kisungu said.

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