Kamiti inmates strike over mistreatment and starvation

There was chaos at the Kamiti Maximum Prison from dawn to early evening on Thursday following protests by inmates over harsh treatment by the warders.

Anti-riot police were called in to quell the chaos.

The chaos came in the wake of a visit by the Commissioner of Prisons at Kamiti on Tuesday where prisoners aired their grievances which included complaints about high handedness by the warders.

They attributed this to the recent escape of three terror convicts who were re-arrested in Kitui.

The protest is alleged to have started as a hunger strike on Wednesday but turned ugly when a section of inmates took to the roof of the prison and engaged the warders.

The inmates are opposed to changes at the prison which have turned restoration of order into a nightmare for them.

Inmates who spoke on condition of anonymity said since the re-arrest of three terror convicts who had escaped from Kamiti, life has been unbearable.

From lack of food to restriction of movement, the inmates said they have had enough from the new management.

Anti-riot police were called in to subdue the inmates who engaged them with rocks as they used teargas. Some of them got on the roof to try to bring the inmates down.

It is alleged that 174 inmates out of a total of 1,829 were on the roof on Thursday evening seeking audience with the Commissioner of Prisons who gave them an ear on Tuesday.

High ranking officials say some of the inmates are resisting changes that include change of guard to warders who are unfamiliar.

The warders are strict in enforcing new rules that restrict block to block movement that has stopped contraband and drugs supply from within.

The official says the inmates on the roof allegedly from block F will be dealt with through psychosocial counselling and treatment.

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