November 28, 2020

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Calls to embrace virtual prosecutions reverberate as Covid-19 cases surge

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Laikipia County Commissioner Daniel Nyamiti is proposing virtual prosecution of remandees as a measure to minimize physical contact, as the county’s Covid-19 numbers continued to soar.

Nyamiti who regretted that most of the infections in the county were from prisons and remand centres, called for close monitoring of prisoners to avert the spread of the virus.

To aid in the transition, Nyamiti noted that the courts, as well as the prisons service, had procured ICT facilities that would enable them to conduct virtual hearings and prosecutions though the equipment was not in use.

Speaking at Nyahururu’s Thompson’s Falls Prison during the handing over of the prison from Nyandarua County to Laikipia County, Rift Valley Region Prisons Commander, Aggrey Onyango, regretted that cases of infection in the prisons were on the rise, regretting that jurisdiction had hampered testing and treatment of inmates.

He directed the Nyahururu Sub County security team to conduct monthly analysis of the situation at the Nyahururu based Thompsons Falls Prison to inform urgent decisions in case of a surge in cases.

Nyandarua County Commissioner Benson Leparmorijo, who did not object to the transfer of the facility to Laikipia County urged officers handling inmates to be patient with each other as strict Covid-19 protocols demanded prisoners and remandees be tested and cleared for Coronavirus.

Leparmorijo called on the Commissioner of Prisons to lobby for the construction of a Prison facility in Ol Kalau, to serve Nyandarua County, arguing that Nyandarua had lost most of its Nyahururu town infrastructure to Laikipia County despite billions being invested since independence.

Central Regional Prison Commander, James K. Too, who witnessed the handing over said plans were underway to have the prisons name changed from Thompsons Falls to Nyahururu G K prison.

A source close to the prison disclosed that about eight prison warders had been isolated after they tested positive for Coronavirus, with most of the female prisoners being infected and under isolation at the facility.

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