When Interior Cabinet Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki visited the Gathigiriri prison in Mwea on Monday, one officer took him by surprise.
Kibuchi Kariuki, a police constable from Gichugu constituency performed a touching poem detailing the hardships a prison warden goes through to execute their duties.
Without skipping a beat, he stated the reasons why most of the wardens find themselves engaged in substance use, poor working conditions and low morale, and stagnation in one position for years without any hope of being promoted.
While advocating for dignity in his poem, Kariuki also said the wardens should be treated as human beings and respected as other uniformed officers.
"We are human beings even if we have been assigned to monitor the inmates, we are not big-headed, we only need to be understood and considered as humans," Kariuki narrated.
After the two minutes poem, he walked towards CS Kindiki and shook his hand as he handed him a handmade greeting card.
Kindiki said he was pleasantly surprised the prison department such a courageous and open-minded officer.
"I admit it was surprising but it is good to see our officers are open-minded and brave enough to share their talents," he said.
After the poem Kariuki got himself promoted from a constable to a corporal in the same station.
The Prison-in-Charge Samuel Ruto said Corporal Kariuki like many other officers was employed in 2010 and stayed in one position for years which often demotivates, and kills the morale of officers.
“I welcome the promotion of one of my officers, it is on merit, it actually took us by surprise, and this will even motivate other officers,” Said Ruto.
He said Kariuki has never been summoned for any disciplinary case. The gesture he said will be an inspiration to other officers and inmates willing to learn how to recite poems.
“We now have an officer who will be teaching inmates on reciting poems among other skills even how to express themselves and being bold,” Ruto said.
Kariuki first worked in Nairobi area as a driver in the Prisons department before being transferred to the Gathigiriri prison late last year.
Kindiki pinned a badge on Kariuki's uniform and handed him a swagger stick as a sign of his new promotion.