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Power of Mercy Taskforce collect views from Makueni residents

The Taskforce charged with Reviewing of Laws Relating to Exercise of Power of Mercy on Monday came to collect views of the residents of Makueni through public hearing.

The Power of Mercy Advisory Committee (POMAC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Lydia Muriuki led the team that sat in Wote town in Makueni County.

Besides getting views of the residents, Dr. Muriuki said that they are to review the legislative framework and recommend comprehensive amendments to existing legislation to give full effect of Article 133 of the constitution.

During the hearings, the Makueni County Probation Officer (CPO) Mr Sammy Munyasya proposed that there is need to establish sub-county committees whose membership will include Deputy County Commissioners (chair) and Probation Officer (Secretary).

Other members will be drawn from the criminal justice system and they will be involved in preparing Pre-release reports of supervisees (Convicts) whereby chiefs from the area will play a critical role.

Further the committee will also ensure those individuals released from prison are well supervised in adhering to requirements before being re-integrated into the community in the areas they come from.

Other proposals made included the need to ensure proper communication between prison and the probation officer especially when a supervisee is released from jail.

During the public hearings a Prosecutor Anne Gakumu, proposed that the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to replace Attorney General in chairing the POMAC since the office deals with criminal cases.

Stakeholders drawn from various organizations and government departments attending a forum of public hearing where they gave their views to the Taskforce. Photo by Ronald Rono

Other proposals included increase the period of reviewing cases from five to 20 years and this pertains to life cases with an exception of petty offenders.

During the hearings, it was recommended that the pregnant mothers, elderly and the terminally ill cases should be considered when the President is pardoning convicts.

Those that gave their contribution were the faith based organizations, Prison, Police and National administration and Prosecution. Others were the youth, Maendeleo ya Wanawake and other stakeholders.

While saying Makueni was the 18th county to collect views, Dr. Muriuki revealed that some of the proposals from other counties have said that convicts involved in narcotic, capital offences, terrorism defilers and murderers should not be pardoned.

Some of the counties visited by the taskforce are Kericho, Kisumu, Kisii, Kakamega, Kitui, Embu, Isiolo and Busia to mention a few.

Other members of the Taskforce present included Lady Justice Cecelia Githua Chair Community Compulsory Order (CSO) and David Macharia.

The Taskforce is chaired by Principal Administrative Secretary and Assistant Secretary to the Cabinet Mr Nathan Kehara.

By Patrick Nyakundi

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