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March 7 2009 | KENYA


Soon death penalty might be abolished

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Kenya might abolish death penalty-Musyoka

The government is in the process of reviewing the death penalty and address the plight of over 4000 prisoners on the death row.

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said his office was in consultation with the Attorney General and Office of the President to come up with way forward.

He said this may mean considering abolishing the death penalty ahead of the constitution review.

Though Kenya has not officially abolished the death penalty and the sentence is still being handed down, the sentence is hardly ever carried out and sometimes inmates on the death row end up spending the rest of their lives in prisons.

The last prisoner to hanged in the country was Hezekiah Ochuka in 1986 for his role in the aborted 1982 coup.

"Some African countries like Rwanda have already abolished the death penalty, we may go in that direction if there is consensus", he said.

The Vice President was speaking Thursday when he unveiled four new tractors worth Ksh 16 million and other supplies meant for the penal institutions.

Mr. Musyoka said the government has set aside funds under the Authority to Incur Expenditure fund totaling Ksh. 110 million for the construction of staff houses under the Rapid Results Initiative Programme.

Thi he said would alleviate the staff housing problem in the department.

He noted that the ministry has also released Ksh. 38.9 million for the construction of modern sanitary facilities to replace the indecent bucket toilet system still in use in 39 prisons in the country.

The Vice President said the ministry was looking for private partnership in order to assist in the improvement of both housing and hygienic conditions in prisons.

The Vice President challenged the Provincial Prisons Commanders to ensure that the funds allocated to officers were utilized well for the intended purpose adding that theft of the funds will not be tolerated.

The Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Vice President and Home Affairs, Dr. Ludeki Chweya said the purchase of the tractors was a first step to revitalize Prison Enterprises and enable the institutions be self sufficient in food while the surplus could be sold to boost the department's revolving fund.

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