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Magistrate tells probationers to reform

Group photo of probationers after open day

Kiambu Chief Magistrate, Mrs.Patriciah Gichohi has cautioned offenders on probation terms against bhang smoking.
Gichohi asked them to stop engaging in bad company which might encourage them to indulge in the use of the prohibited drugs.
She warned that engaging in drugs would make them relapse to their older habits of crime, thus returning them to courts which might cost them dearly in terms of court sentences as habitual offenders.
The magistrate observed bhang was outlawed and also interferes with ones’ brain function, causing one to be in problems with the society for being troublesome.
She was addressing probationers Wednesday during their open day at the Kiambu Probation boardroom.
Most of the smokers do not even bathe or eat well and usually find it hard to relate with fellow dwellers thus being labeled as social misfits.
She regretted that most of the times bhang addicts were known to sleep at odd hours, and when they wake up, they go looking for food which they have not worked for,thus ending up engaging in crime where they will even steal to have something in their stomachs,” she said.
Gichohi reiterated that being placed on probation was a sentence which had to be appreciated, as it enabled the probationers to live with their families and provide for them while at the same time reporting to the probation office for community service.
The Judicial officer reminded about 60 probationers who attended the occasion that they should accept the offences they committed and endeavor not to repeat them in future.
“If you are found to have committed another offence while on probation, it shall be revoked and you shall be sentenced to prison without other options,” she warned.
“I have information that some of you when you return to the villages upon being released, you go bragging saying “nilishinda hiyo kesi” (I won the case)” without telling the truth that they were found guilty but placed on probation for some period.
Kiambu Sub-county probation officer, Winnie Ikinya confirmed that many of the probationers preferred to keep their sentence a secret so that whenever they reported to the probation office, their whereabouts remained unknown.
She said the reason as to why they were arrested in the first place was to remove them from the society which they had offended so that they were not hurt.
In such circumstances, if the social enquiry report proved to the court that their lives were endangered, then it was prudent that they go to prison so as to allow the community to cool down tempers before they were allowed to rejoin their families.
The second reason was that they were to be sentenced to prison so that they could reform and become good citizens who could now participate accordingly in Nation building.
Placing them on probation enabled them to take care of their families as they served their sentences where they are engaged in community work which is good for the society, she said.
During testimonies, a woman who was placed on probation for murder which was reduced to manslaughter during the hearing, advised her colleagues to learn to control their tempers.
She also advised women to respect their husbands so as to maintain harmony in the families.
“If I would have controlled my anger when my husband returned home while drunk and we started fighting, I would not have been in this group,” she said.
She explained that her husband had returned home while drunk at midnight and said he intended to eat meat which he had brought home.
“I then told him that the food which I had cooked also had meat and so he should eat what I had served him. He refused and we started quarrelling, then we fought and when he armed himself with a knife, I snatched it and used it in self defense” she said.
The Kiambu County Probation coordinator Ms. Margaret Nyabuto lauded the probationers for showing good progress in their integration with the community.
She said records for the past two years indicated that those convicted for bhang were going down.
“Soon, we shall have a sober society in Kiambu which is ready to work and participate in nation building”
By Lydia Shiroya

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