Whatever Are Prison Warders Smoking?

The horrendous conditions in our prisons are no secret. Just google Kenyan Prisons and you’ll get the picture. I’m not expecting anything 5-star to be reported about them, they’re prisons after all, but still I’d expect them to be more like correctional facilities and not a factory for broken men. The recently aired beating of prisoners at Kamiti Prison are a shock to anyone who gets to view the clip. The Prisons Department Spokesman says that prison officials are allowed to use force in some instances but there is still such a thing as basic human rights.

As usual we hear the now almost offending phrase ‘the police are going to investigate’. ‘The matter is going to be probed’. But in Kenya these probes are known to be the end of the case. Other than appoint a new Commissioner of Prisons, what else has been done or is being done about the Marsden Madoka report? Trust me when they ‘probe’ this current matter, it’s going to be probed as a stand alone and yet it’s obviously a culmination of years of rot in the prisons department. We all know about the continued frustration of the prison officers but that does not absolve them from the chillingly animalish brutality they displayed herding together stack naked full grown men and thrashing them.

I’ve received enough of those annoying SMSs that are said to come from prisons but this time I commend the one prisoner who captured the incident – never mind he was not supposed to have a phone in there in the first place.

There is also word that the taping was done by a concerned warder and not a prisoner after all. True it’s wrong to have contraband, weapons, cigarettes and mobile phones in prison but how do they get there if not with the co-operation of the very warders who meted the beating?

Were the warders operating on a sober mind? Is the human being wired like that? I wonder where our friend was during the incident?

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