150 prisoners pardoned in North Rift, Kenya


KENYA: More than 150 inmates in five prisons in the North Rift region have been granted amnesty by the Judiciary in its effort to reduce congestion in the facilities.

They include 54 prisoners from Eldoret, 52 from Kapsabet, six from Kabarnet, 13 from Tambach and 34 from Eldama Ravine GK prisons respectively.

There was excitement and jubilation from prisoners who were pardoned at the Eldoret GK Prison, the venue of the Judicial Service Week, which was presided over by Chief Magistrate Charles Mbogo.

Mbogo said the amnesty was granted following  requests made by probation officers from six counties; Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Trans Nzoia, West Pokot and Turkana in North Rift region.

The magistrate observed that some of the released prisoners will still serve under probation and will work for two hours daily.

“This instruction should be understood by you (inmates) that although you have been pardoned, you will still be under our watch to ensure that you are fully reformed before being accepted back in the community,” explained  Mbogo.

He also advised them to inform their families or relatives of the action taken by the government.

“I am saying this because I know for sure that some of you may not be allowed back by your parents. We had a case here where one parent recently approached us and asked us not to allow his son to leave the prison. Talk to them and ask for forgiveness before you go there,” he added.


Mbogo pointed out that the inmates who were considered for amnesty were those who had spent three years in jail and had demonstrated high level of discipline.

The judge further urged the county government to establish a taskforce that will deal with the rising cases of rape and defilement.

“As people concerned, it is surprising to find that 70 per cent of the cases we are dealing with today are as a result of rape, defilement or sodomy. It’s worrying because we did not experience such evil incidences during the time we were young.” noted Mbogo.

The Law Society of Kenya North Rift Chairman David Omboto faulted police officers for allegedly conducting shoddy investigations in criminal cases leading to insufficient evidence against accused persons.