Residents of Nyandarua County have called on the Committee reviewing the Power of Mercy, to classify intersex persons and stateless residents as persons requiring the President’s pardon.
The Taskforce on review of the Laws relating to the exercise of the Power of Mercy under Section 133 of the Constitution heard that street children and those who are terminally ill, too required to be lifted-off the jail terms, with foreigners in Kenyan prisons pardoned for repatriation, subject to their jail terms.
Human Rights activist, Ruth Getobai, while noting the need to also have prisons set separate facilities for the intersex persons, noted that they were vulnerable and needed not spend jail terms with persons not of their gender.
“Our cells are full of young persons aged between 18 and 30. Most of these youths offended as a result of peer influence, stupidity and waywardness that they regret having gotten into. It is our plea that these young persons’ behaviour is looked into and if they have truly reformed, be allowed to come back home because we need them to continue our generation, build our nation and hold our hands as we age,” cried Agikuyu Council of Elder, Muthamaki Ngera.
The Committee led by the Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (POMAC) POMAC, CEO, Dr. Lydia Muriuki, recommended that person’s receiving the pardon will have their criminal records put under seal, to allow them access police clearance certificates for employability.
“Many ex-offenders have had challenges moving on and getting reintegration for lack of police clearance certificates. If you have been pardoned or your sentence postponed , we want to give you tools that will help you earn a living considering that many of our prisoners are youthful,” she said, noting that those who reoffend will be taken back to jail to serve their term behind bars.
The taskforce also recommended the establishment of a county based multi-agency committee to help with the monitoring of offenders released on strict conditions to serve the remainder of their terms while out in the community.
“Foreigners in our prisons have now a chance to apply for release but will be repatriated for the period remaining of their jail term. Similarly, we want to negotiate for our Kenyans in foreign jurisdiction, if they are pardoned then we have a framework on how to handle them back home,” added Dr. Muriuki.
POMAC Vice Chair, Dr. Janet Kirui, noted the lengthy process of scrutiny the capital offenders had to go through to secure release urging the community to receive them as reformed citizens out there to make meaningful livelihoods.
Nyandarua Central Deputy County Commissioner, George Matundura, while urging Chiefs and the community to always give correct information on the offenders during social inquiries, noted that the county committees would be formed to ensure thorough scrutiny to ensure offenders change.
By Anne Sabuni