The task force on review of the laws relating to the exercise of the Power of Mercy held a consultative meeting in Narok County to validate the first draft before formulating a comprehensive policy.
The task force Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Lydia Muriuki said the views taken would help iron out and fine tune the legislative framework of the laws governing the Power of Mercy and recommend the amendments to facilitate the development of a comprehensive policy.
She said, the task force had already collected recommendations from at least ten counties and was expected to hold similar forums in 24 counties before September 2022, when their term of service will expire.
The exercise was held at the Narok County Commissioner’s conference rooms and brought together various organizations among them; the National Police Service representatives, Prisons department, National Government Administration Officers (NGAO), civil society groups, probation officers, youth groups and religious leaders.
Narok County Criminal Investigation Officer Mwenda Ethaiba recommended that in cases of capital offence like murder, robbery with violence, sexual crimes and treason, the culprit, though granted conditional pardon should not receive a certificate of good conduct.
According to the recommendations in the draft policy, an offender will be eligible to apply for conditional pardon five years after completion of a sentence if convicted of a misdemeanor and ten years after completion of a sentence if convicted of a felony offence; when the offender will be eligible to receive a certificate of good conduct.
However, the Narok GK prison in charge Benson Lomeri differed with the criminal investigation officer saying some of the inmates come out of the prison fully reformed hence it would be a double punishment if they were denied a certificate of good conduct.
The department of Health that was represented by Dr. Francis Kiiio recommended that persons living with disability and those who develop mental disorder while in prison to be prioritized when considering petitions for pardon.
The forum was also attended by Narok County Commissioner Isaac Masinde, the county police commander Kizito Mutoro and Narok Central Deputy County Commissioner Silas Gatobu.
The county commissioner called on Narok residents who wished to give their recommendation to the task force to do so by writing a letter to the Joint Secretaries, Task force on Review of Power of Mercy, P.O Box 79960-00200, Nairobi.
The government through the Attorney General office established the taskforce in September 2020 with a mission to receive and consider petitions by convicted criminal offenders and other relevant organs and render independent advice to the president on the exercise of power of mercy.
By Ann Salaton