Uhuru Sympathizes With Inmate, Orders She be Pardoned

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks with an inmate from Lang'ata Women Prisons at State House on Friday, May 13, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks with an inmate from Lang'ata Women Prisons at State House on Friday, May 13, 2022.
    Courtesy
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the Head of Public Service, Joseph Kinyua, to arrange for the release of an inmate who asked him for mercy after they met at State House, Nairobi, during an awards ceremony.

    Speaking to hundreds of students who had converged at State House for the awards on Friday, May 13, Uhuru directed Kinyua to look into the inmate's case and get her pardoned through the Power of Mercy.

    The inmate, who is serving a sentence at Lang'ata Women Prison, was at State House to attend this year’s President’s Award-Kenya, where she pleaded with the Head of State to look into her case. Uhuru sympathized with her and ordered action be taken immediately.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks with an inmate from Lang'ata Women Prisons at State House on Friday, May 13, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks with an inmate from Lang'ata Women Prisons at State House on Friday, May 13, 2022.
    Courtesy

    Uhuru noted that every person deserves a second chance in life, especially after spending time in a maximum prison facility such as Lang'ata Women Prison.

    The President stated that the case should be looked into and asked Kinyua to check if she qualifies for the Presidential pardon program where the Head of State sets free certain inmates.

    "I have seen you, and Kinyua please see if you can put her on the Power of Mercy list and we see how we can help her. She has pleaded, please. Everybody deserves a second chance," Uhuru stated.

    The Power of Mercy is an important authority conferred upon the President by the Constitution and it entails granting pardon to reformed and rehabilitated convicted criminal offenders deserving early release from prison.

    In 2022, the Power of the Mercy Advisory Committee stated that the number of petitions lowered from 206 in 2019/20 to 62 in 2021.

    “The drop in petitions was occasioned by the significant number of long-serving convicts, who are by design the target of the Power of Mercy, that chose the court as the redress route, thereby locking themselves out of the petition process,” Attorney General Paul Kihara Kariuki, stated in a report to Parliament at the time.

    The Power of Mercy Advisory Committee is established pursuant to Article 133 of the Constitution to advise the President on the exercise of Power of Mercy.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta directs Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua to consider an inmate for the Power of Mercy programme at State House on Friday, May 13, 2022.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta directs Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua to consider an inmate for the Power of Mercy programme at State House on Friday, May 13, 2022.
    Courtesy

    The Constitution allows the President, on the petition, to grant free or conditional pardon to a person convicted of an offence.

    According to the law, the President can decide to postpone the carrying out of a punishment, either for a specified or indefinite period, substitute a less severe form of punishment, or remit all or part of a punishment.

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