Success Story- Meru Prison Justice Centre

Meru GK Prison Justice BannerArticle 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Prison Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained prison paralegals to assist them self-represent in court, offer legal advice to the other inmates, educating them on criminal law and guiding them on how to confidently represent themselves in Court and empower the entire prison community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising these centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Prison Justice Centres at Shimo La Tewa Men & Women Prisons, Lang’ata Women’s Prison, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kodiaga, Nyeri Main (King’ong’o) G.K. Prison, Kakamega GK Prison and Meru GK Prison. As a result, inmates and Prison Officers have been able to offer legal aid services to inmates and from 2010 to date 10,000 + inmates have been released following interventions by trained paralegals. The Prison justice centers have significantly contributed to the decongestion of prisons and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

This is a Success Story from the Meru G.K. Prison Justice Centre…



Case background

Douglas Muthaura Ntoribi was charged for the offence of robbery with violence contrary to Section 296 (2) of the Penal Code.  The action saw the attacked victim sustain a head injury from a cut and loss of Ksh. 500. He was convicted by the trial court sitting at Nkubu in 2005 and sentenced to suffer death.  He lodged an appeal (Criminal appeal number 118 of 2005) before Meru High Court, and on 29th July 2008, the same was dismissed. He soldiered on and filed Criminal Appeal No. 317 of 2008 before the court of appeal. That appeal suffered the same fate as the initial one at the High Court on 30th April 2014 with both judges citing that the applications did not meet the required threshold.

Douglas undergoes Kituo paralegal training…

Back In 2016, Kituo cha Sheria conducted paralegal training at Meru Main Prison, thirty (30) inmates underwent the paralegal training and were awarded certificates upon successful completion. Douglas Muthaura who was among the trainees testified how the knowledge he gained from the training helped him write a comprehensive appeal that saw the judge finally rule in his favor.

Case Determination        

The court ruled that the circumstances of the case did not call for death sentence or life imprisonment. In that regard death sentence was replaced by a 15 years imprisonment, sentencing running from the date of conviction dated 8th July 2005.

The Court’s decision was arrived at given that he had already spent almost twelve years in prison and yet, the victim of crime was treated of his head injury and immediately discharged from the hospital.

The Court in its ruling posed a question or rather wondered why such an applicant cannot reform and challenged the prison system to come up with effective rehabilitation models for convicts falling in the bracket of the applicant.

Justice Said Chitembwe cited the Supreme Court decision in MURUATETU v REP (2017) where mandatory death sentence was declared unconstitutional. He further opined that, High Courts are duty bound to consider cases where litigants have already been sentenced to suffer death and that, the consideration should not be limited to murder cases only.


Kituo Cha Sheria


Political Parties as the Bedrock of Democracy and Good Governance in Kenya: Lessons from the African National Congress (ANC)

Opinion Blog

Political Parties in Kenya

While Political Parties in Kenya may be defined as loose ethnic organizations-based on personal vision and politics- that are formed as vehicles to get political power, the African National Congress (ANC) and political party politics in South Africa appear to operate on a  different tangent; an oasis in a large desert of political indiscipline, corruption, dishonesty and lack of vision. It is only in South Africa and the ANC that two Presidents have resigned, pushed out by the party due to allegation of corruption, mismanagement and abuse of office. Imagine for a minute, Kenya’s Jubilee Party asking President Kenyatta to step aside on account of failure to tackle corruption or the Orange Democratic Movement pushing for a vote of no confidence against Rt. Hon. Raila Amollo Odinga. This is not just laughable but impossible. It is against this backdrop that this article reflects on political parties’ culture in Kenya. This discussion based on five areas that Kenyan political parties may want to consider so as to be champions of democracy and good governance.

National-based Political Parties

The first thing for Kenya is to grow her national political outfits as opposed to ethnic and personality-based organization. It may be true this situation was crafted and seeds planted by the colonialist however, it is over fifty years and it is important for Kenyans to step out of the colonialist fangs. The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 in Article 91 demands of political parties to have a national character. This means that they should be inclusive and seek the common good of all Kenyans. As much as politicians may not agree, parties in Kenya are aligned to tribes. They carry the aspirations and dreams of their tribes. This takes away national unity and objectivity in political parties. No wonder in Kenya, political parties are not about intergrity, fighting corruption. They are not about the rule of law; rather, it’s about tribal interests and power. National-based political parties also mean parties that have women, persons living with disabilities and minority groups. If they were not so much engrossed in tribalism, they would be pushing the agendas for these people as they include them in their decision-making organs and policies.

Issue-based political Parties

Kenyan political parties like the ANC must be based on issues. It is hypocritical to expect candidates to campaign on issues when the parties do not have a stand on certain ideologies. Political parties should not be a difference between class or tribe, but ideologies. What is the Jubilee Party’s position on Genetically Modified Foods, or Wiper Democratic Party’s position on reforestation? What about the Orange Democratic Movement’s policy on inclusivity, healthcare, job creation and eradication on poverty.  This explains why political parties have identical yet unrealistic manifestoes every election year. Their ideas do not resonate with the citizens. They often have no clue on what the ordinary citizens goes through. A good example is the primary schools laptops project. It is very absurd to buy laptops for children who do not have books, pencils, teachers, classrooms, etc. If parties stand for ideologies that resonate with the people, it will be easy to do issue-based politics.

Issue based politics also helps cure the culture of party- hopping. Legislation attempted to help by putting a time limit for changing parties however; this gave birth to independent candidates.  The point is political parties need to cultivate a culture of ideologies upon which its members must abide by, in that way, party hopping will naturally die off.

Institutionalized Political Parties

The other thing to learn from ANC is to strengthen party structures. Strong party structures means creating leadership that is autonomous and is guided by an acceptable value system. This is opposed to personality based political parties. Institutionalization of political party helps in growing membership, creating awareness and societal values, condemning vices and cultivating party democracy. There is a live debate on the inability of political parties to conduct proper primaries and how this eventually affects the general election. The answer to this is to take political power from specific people to independent structures and institutions. The ANC has   moved from the leadership of Oliver Thambo, to Nelson Mandela to Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma and now Cyril Ramaphosa yet there are questions as to whether the Maendeleo ChapChap Party can survive without Governor Alfred Mutua.

How do political parties in Kenya discipline errant members? Kenyans have witnessed spectacular scenes from Members of Parliament and even Members of County Assemblies engaging in acts like physical fights in public and use of abusive language and hate speech, yet there is very little talk of discipline. If only this was taken as serious as it is with the ANC. Parties need to set standards for the members. It is very sad that in Kenya, politicians accused of corruption and abuse of office are protected rather than disciplined by their political parties.

Political Party Financing

For political parties to function properly there is need for financing. This however cannot be left for the elite and the party leadership. There needs to be a system that allows members to remit their contributions. In that way, all members get to own the projects by the parties. As this goes on the Government also need to be pro-active in checking their books of account and finances to ensure transparency and accountability. Legislation or Amendments to the Political Parties Act is necessary to regulate the moneys that are to be used in political activities. This is important as it helps in bring equity and equality in our politics.

Political Party Activities after Elections

What happens to political parties after elections? The ANC being majority in the House has always helped in holding the government to account, political parties in power in Kenya have always been a rubber stamp of the Government. The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 has given Parliament the power to oversight whether as a Jubilee or NASA affiliate. Political parties also play the role of pushing the agenda and representing the people’s needs, aspirations, desires and dreams. Political parties should be the avenue for citizens to speak out on governance issues. They need to be the space for a country to have dialogue. It is important for political parties to be a uniting factor rather than a dividing factor.


Ouma Kizito Ajuong’-  Poet, Lawyer, Person with Disability, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, LLB (Hon.) Kenyatta University, PGD KSL, Legal Practice.

The Samburu-Ilmisigiyoi Group Ranch Members fight for their land rights.


Ilmisigiyoi 2

Kituo Cha Sheria is on record for a case concerning members of the Ilmisigiyoi Group Ranch who are from the Samburu community. Through our advocate Mr. John Mwariri we are representing a total of 600 families who form the Imisigyoi Group ranch and whose livelihoods are affected by the matter. Our clients are the owners and occupiers of the parcel of land situated in Lodokejek ward in Samburu County.

The dispute between the Ranch members and the defendants dates back to the time when the ranches were demarcated in the 1970s. During the said exercise beacons were erected and after a period of time the boundaries were illegally tampered with and as a result the Defendants who include the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation entered into our clients land illegally and have been occupying the piece of land.

The effect of this encroachment is that our clients have been dispossessed of their land with traditional boundaries and their livelihoods have also been affected as their grazing lands are now highly diminished. The matter filed at the Nyahururu ELC Court seeks to ascertain whether our clients are the lawful owners of the land identifiable by the aforesaid traditional boundaries and ensure that the parcels of land now occupied by the Defendants are returned back to the Samburu.

The matter came for hearing on the 13th February, 2018, when one of our witnesses, Mr. Lesingo Leiyagu testified and a further hearing is set for the 24th April, 2018.


Kituo Cha Sheria

Defining ‘Independent Offices’ as Prescribed by the Constitution of Kenya, 2010

Opinion Blog‘Independent Offices’

The arrest, detention and ‘deportation’ of Mr. Miguna Miguna left many Kenyans shocked. This is because it has exposed the rot within the criminal justice system-something that characterized the dark days of the 80’s and 90’s in Kenya. While this is deliberately not a brief for Mr. Miguna, the uncouth, primitive, pedestrian, unprofessional and unlawful behavior of especially the Police Service left a lot to be desired. It was not only so embarrassing but also a manifestation of total disregard for Courts, Statute and Constitutional Human Right Law.

The funny bit of it is that at the end of it all, the Police appeared as more of the criminals as opposed to the treason-charged and self-proclaimed NRM general. Why should the Police Service behave this recklessly? Why play a game of cat and mouse with the High Court while breaking a myriad of fundamental provisions of the Human Rights Bill along the way? The answer to these questions is political interference. Interestingly however, the drafters of the Constitution of Kenya 2010- aiming to decentralize powers of the Executive- put safeguards in the name of Independent Offices, Commissions, the Judiciary and Parliament as a way to achieve both horizontal and vertical separation of powers.

Philosophically, Hans Kelsen assertions on a “sovereign” as one with ultimately all the power, someone who is not subject to anyone, doesn’t answer to anyone, yet everyone answer to them is frowned upon. Years of scholarship have emphasized that this “sovereign” doesn’t exist, especially in a democracy characterized by separation of powers. It is against this backdrop that Article 1 of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 gives sovereign powers to the people of Kenya. It is carefully and deliberately crafted to bring out the rule of law and power of the people.  The President, Cabinet Secretaries, the Speakers, the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney General are not therefore, sovereign but answerable to the Constitution and to the people of Kenya. This paper reflects on “Independent Offices” as a subject that has caused a back and forth since the promulgation of the supreme law.

The word “independence” ordinarily means separate. It denotes someone who is free and not controlled by anyone. Independent Offices as designed in the law however, have autonomy as much as they are accountable.

Simply put, these offices are deliberately designed this way, so that the holders can perform optimally without interference but also be properly accountable to other arms, organs, agencies and the people without passing blame. The Chief Justice for example, has the autonomy in managing and leading the Judiciary without interference by Parliament or the Executive but he is equally answerable to Parliament and Judicial Service Commission should there be questions. The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 majorly instituted Independent Commissions and others as discussed herein.

Independent Commissions (Chapter Fifteen)

Independent Commissions are so central to the working and administration of Government under the current regime. There are those that were created to cure historical injustices, while others have purely administrative functions dealing with different but important sectors of Government. They were created to decentralize presidential powers while promoting efficiency, accountability, constitutionalism and values and principles of the Constitution 2010. There have been a number of “conflicts” witnessed between some of these commissions and other organs of Government. These often undermine and interfere with the objects and independence of these Commissions. The National Land Commission set up under Article 67 for example, had a lot of tussles with the Ministry of Land over their functions and overlapping roles. Today the members of the commission are engulfed with accusations of corruption.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission is another that has had a fairly hard time. Article 230(4) of the Constitution gave them the power to set and regularly review the remuneration of public servants as they advise both County and National Governments. This was brought in to ensure equity and equality in public service remuneration as they manage the wage bill. They had to face confrontations, conflicts and interference with their objects especially with parliament and it is not surprising that as the commission winds up, members of parliament are seeking more money in the name of car grants, mileage allowances, etc. The National Police Service Commission has also recently been on the spot for conducting interviews subject to presidential directions contrary to the Constitution and the law.

 Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC)

The drama and politics around the IEBC after the nullification of the August 8 Presidential election justifies this article in more than one way. As much as it is almost forgotten the Commission is still accused of contempt of court with regards to opening the servers. This emphasizes the earlier point that with independence and autonomy comes accountability. Away from this, NASA’s irreducible minimums and the Jubilee Party’s insistence on the repeat elections coupled with in-fighting within the Commission along political lines almost torpedoed Kenya’s political stability. This was tragic as both international and municipal laws insist on independence, neutrality, fairness, accuracy and credibility in the working of the electoral management body. Kenya’s electoral history paints a very dark picture when it comes to EMB’s especially the Samuel Kivuitu-led defunct ECK. However, the lessons that should have been learnt seem to have dried away like the morning dew.

Office of the Attorney General

The Office of the Attorney General is another Independent Office. This is because he/she is the principle legal adviser to the Government. He/she has the duty to appear and defend the Government in both civil and criminal case. The office’s autonomy is important for objectivity, professionalism and accountability. In the event that TV stations are shut down by Government in contempt of court orders, then the independence of the Office of the Attorney General comes to question. Article 156 (6) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 states that the Attorney General is the guardian of the rule of law and public interest and that involves obeying court orders and respect to the due process of the law.

Office of the Director of Public Prosecution

This is a new office that was historically cut out of the office of the Attorney General. The idea behind this was to take the role of prosecution from the police and give it to lawyers. The DPP under Article 157 (10) has the authority to enter criminal proceedings without directions. He/she may also direct the Police Service and the Inspector General to conduct investigations on a case. The importance of independence of the office cannot be over-emphasized. The Office of the DPP should however obey the courts of law; contempt of court is the lowest any lawyer can get. The case of Mr. Miguna also raised questions as to the charge sheet and the role of the Police vis-a-vis the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution.

Office of Inspector-General of Police

This Office is a new creation of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010. It was designed to replace the office of the Police Commissioner. The Inspector General performs independent command of the Police Service pursuant to Article 245 (2) (b). In the efforts to transform the police force into a police service, there was need to create an independent police command structure which enables them to work effectively without interference but with accountability.

This underscores the need for the police to be neutral and professional in political matters. As for the command structure neither the President nor the Cabinet Secretary in charge has a right to direct the Inspector-General. He/ She takes full responsibility when civilians are killed or court orders are not obeyed.

Other Independent Offices

The doctrine of Separation of powers primae facie creates three independent but coordinating offices, thus office of the President, Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court and Office of the Speaker from the two houses. The Governor’s office and the Country Assemblies under Chapter 11 of the Constitution of Kenya 2010 and the County Government Act also have independence and autonomy from the National Government. This point is further cemented by Schedule 4 giving the different functions to the County as well as National Government.

The Office of the Controller of Budget under Article 228(1) of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the Auditor-General under article 229(1) are also independent offices meant to streamline public finances.

Checks and balances is the name of the game. This is one way to ensure efficiency and inclusivity in running the affairs of government. They must however work in cooperation and coordination. There is therefore a need to keep to the rule of law even as Kenya cultivates the culture of democracy.

“I am a Lawyer, I go for due process, I go for equity and equality, and these things mean a lot to me” -Mohamed Elbaradei.


Ouma Kizito Ajuong’-  Poet, Lawyer, Person with Disability, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, LLB (Hon.) Kenyatta University, PGD KSL, Legal Practice.


Success Story from the Nyando Community Justice Centre


Success Story from the Nyando Community Justice Centre

Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Community Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained community paralegals to assist members of the community at the grassroots level across the country agitate for their human rights and resolve disputes without resorting to the court process.

The community paralegals offer free legal advice to the members of the public, educate them on various aspects of law and guide them on how to participate in governance and empower the entire community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising the community justice centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Community Justice Centres in Kamukunji, Kibera, Korogocho (all in Nairobi), Kitui, Turkana, Nyando (Kisumu), Kisauni (Mombasa), Lamukani ( Kwale) and Marereni (Kilifi). The Community Justice Centers have significantly contributed to the goal of promoting access to justice for the poor and marginalized people in society and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

This is a Success Story from the Nyando Community Justice Centre in Kisumu…

Shadrack Ayange Ogendo a resident of Kisumu North Location in Kisumu County has a reason to smile once again after the Kisumu High Court ordered for the issuance of the title deed of the 3.2 hectares of land that her step mother had acquired illegally.

Mr. Ogendo who comes from a polygamous family of four wives filed a complaint against his step mother Sarah Omolo Ogendo the first wife to his deceased father Samson Ogendo Ayange for transferring the entire 3.2 hectares land belonging to the family under her name without consulting other family members.

After a series of efforts without any tangible outcomes in pursuit of justice, Mr. Ogendo approached Kituo cha Sheria’s Nyando Community Justice Center where the community paralegals attended to him, screened and referred him to a Kituo Volunteer Advocate (VA) in Kisumu. The advocate advised him on the next legal action. VA Erick Otieno, assisted Mr. Ogendo in filing the matter in 2015. He then represented our client in all the Court proceedings until the conclusion of the matter in 2018.  The matter that was at Kisumu High Court before Justice Manjanja was ruled in our clients’ favor. The court gave an order to the lands office to remove the restriction that was put in the land Kisumu/Bar/633 by his stepmother and that the said land title deed under the step mother’s name be revoked. The judge also granted the family members the permission to engage the lands surveyors to spearhead the process of partitioning of the land equally to each of the four wives and another portion for Mr. Ogendo as the eldest son and each of them issued with the title deeds for their respective portions.


Kituo Cha Sheria

Cattle Rustling: The Human Rights and Constitutional Perspective in Kenya’s North Rift Region with Possible Intervention

Opinion Blog

Cattle Rustling v. Cattle Raids 

Cattle rustling as opposed to cattle raids in Kenya may be traced to the 90s; with the latter documented as a metamorphosis of the former. These two may be distinguished by the kind of weapons that accompany the activities, the motive and the societal impact. Conducting cattle raids is an activity synonymous to ‘culture’ in most African Pastoralist Communities. They were conducted using sticks and crude weapons and with the aim of getting wealth for those who were poor and disabled in the community. It is also important to note that there was no killing and destruction of property. The agenda was to scare the owners of the cattle as they drove them away. However, today cattle rustlers employ the use of guns, massive destruction and loss of properties, injuries and sometimes death. There is also uncertainty and fear that engulf communities in the North Rift Region hence affecting trade, schooling and the general day to day life. The motive is different too, while in the past it was all about mutuality, today it is a commercial activity which recent media reports attribute to cartels and political leaders in the region.

At a chancery glance cattle rustling appears uncouth and primitive yet with all the laws, education, modern technology and a rapidly developing country, people still die, property is lost and the police and Government agencies maintain a defeatist attitude. This paper reflects on cattle rustling from the lense of property theory, it builds a case against the vice from a constitutional legal and human rights perspective and finally offers a few solutions to the problem.

John Locke’s property theory in the Second Treaties of Government interestingly may explain the situation. He explains that property in the ancient times was communally owned as they were given by God. Individual rights to property were only gained through an individual’s industry. The best way to explain this is the example of fishing. An individual cannot claim all the fish in a lake but by virtue of putting industry and going out to catch fish, they own what is caught. Likewise, cattle raiders assume that cattle are communally owned and given by God and by putting their industry (going out for raids); this gives them property rights. Therein lies the disconnect, we have a people who believe in an ancient concept of property in a world that has moved past that theory and a Government which assumes that these communities understand rights in rem and personam. Studying this subject does not excuse the unruly manner in which this happens however, it is clear that it may not but be a simple case or robbery and violence but a tradition grounded in strong canons of property theory. One way to solve the problem of cattle rustling may be by putting in place policies and making steps towards revolution of the concept of property among these communities. Before we get into that, what are the human rights and constitutional implications of cattle rustling?

The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 is grounded on the principle and value of the rule of law. This principle envisages a situation where there is a standard law that everyone needs to adhere to regardless of status in the society. Applied to cattle rustling in the North Rift Region, the rule of law means respect for one’s property and life. Adherence to the rule of law further means acquiring firearms in accordance with the law. Article 40(1) of the Constitution expressly permits individuals, association or even communities to own property. Article 26 (1) of the Constitution further protects life and finally Article 28 deals with human dignity. It is therefore clear that “cattle rustling” is not just a breach of human rights but it is unconstitutional.

The Penal Code (Cap 63) laws of Kenya also touches on a few things related to cattle rustling that make it an offence. Murder in Section 203 is the first which carries a sentence of death or life imprisonment upon conviction. Section 220 is attempted murder which also attracts a punishment of life imprisonment. Assault causing actual bodily harm in Section 251 always occurs a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of five years upon conviction. Robbery with violence in Section 295 which carries a sentence of death upon conviction may also be another count. Section 322 deals with handling stolen property. This is a felony which attracts a sentence not exceeding fourteen years imprisonment upon conviction. Section 333 deals with arson which attracts a prison sentence of fourteen years upon conviction. The Fire Arms Act is another legislation that makes cattle rustling an offence.

International laws further prescribe certain rights which cattle rustling contravene. First is the United Nation Covenant on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights. Cattle rustling activity unsettles especially the Marakwet and Pokot communities such that they cannot grow socially and economically. Some people in these communities have migrated to other places because of fear of cattle rustling. This vice is also in contravention of the United Nation Convention on the rights of the child. This comes to play as children are always some of the most vulnerable and often victims of these raids.  There are also young girls who are forced into early marriages so as to get protection from cattle rustlers. The Convention of elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) further frowns upon cattle rustling because just as children women are also victims of these circumstances and always bear the heaviest brunt. Finally, there is the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture (UNCAT))  which also condemns the activities of cattle rustling.

The most disturbing thing in this is that while the law is sufficient, this activity keeps thriving with very little prosecution or success in combating the vice. Several leaders, politicians always talk tough but that seems to be all that goes on.

The possible measures and inteventionary steps include:-

Firstly, there need for advocacy and sensitization against cattle rustling among these communities. For a long time these pastoral communities in Kenya have been marginalized. They were either rubbished or left to their own devices hence they still hold on to this ancient and outdated concept of property. This has even led to a misdiagnosis of the actual problem, hence branding it a cultural problem. The Sapana cultural rights among the Pokot may encourage young men to get cattle but if they understood the modern conceptualization of property ownership in modern day Kenya and the criminal consequences, this may not be a problem.

Advocacy helps in teaching the law, opening up the community, disarmament efforts and changing the mindset of these people.

Secondly, the National and County Governments as well as traditional community leaders need to work on modernization of pastoralism as an economic activity. Employing modern methods in taking care of their animals such as ranching may require that they work with a specific number of animals, may improve the yields, and help them get better market prices hence help in eradicating illiteracy and levels among the communities. This also opens up the areas in terms of roads, access and infrastructure.

Thirdly, the Government needs to stop talking tough and properly enforce the law. The biggest catalyst of cattle rustling is the availability of illegal guns and light weapons.  If these guns can be taken out of the equation it will take the sting off.

Police administration need to take this seriously and clean these communities and if they can’t why not get the military involved. Criminal law may kick in, with arrests being made and guilty persons convicted. When this is done cattle rustling may be finally recognized as an offence it is rather than a cultural activity.

Finally, cattle rustling has nowadays taken a commercial dimension with political patronage. The challenge here is that some politicians provide the weapons and the market for the stolen cattle. As much as it may be uncomfortable, the best way is to cut off the head. These politicians should be arrested so that peace may prevail.


In conclusion, cattle rustling is a problem that touches on a number of areas within the fabric of society. Whenever these raids take place it is a question of tribes and ethnic groups living together, it is a matter of security, human rights as well as social cultural and economic issue that the Kenyan government should take seriously.           


Ouma Kizito Ajuong’

Poet, Lawyer, Advocate of the High Court of Kenya, LLB (Hon.) Kenyatta University, PGD KSL, Legal Practice


Success Stories-Kakamega Prison Justice Centre

Article 48 of the Constitution of Kenya specifically advocates for access to justice for all. Kituo Cha Sheria has established Prison Justice Centres that are managed and run by trained prison paralegals to assist them self-represent in court, offer legal advice to the other inmates, educating them on criminal law and guiding them on how to confidently represent themselves in Court and empower the entire prison community. Kituo has played a big role in supervising these centres and providing technical assistance in legal matters that need the attention of an advocate. To date, Kituo has established Prison Justice Centres at Shimo La Tewa Men & Women Prisons, Lang’ata Women’s Prison, Kamiti Maximum Prison, Kodiaga, Nyeri Main (King’ong’o) G.K. Prison, Kakamega GK Prison and Meru GK Prison. As a result, inmates and Prison Officers have been able to offer legal aid services to inmates and from 2010 to date 10,000 + inmates have been released following interventions by trained paralegals. The Prison justice centers have significantly contributed to the decongestion of prisons and at the same time made justice accessible to those who could not afford the services of an advocate.

These are some Success Stories from the Kakamega Prison Justice Centre…

I. Jackson  Sikunga Maloba alias Stephen Opondo Raimondi

OFFENCES: C1. Obtaining money by false pretence  C2. Unlawfully making use of another person’s identity card C/sec 313 pc and 14(1) (f) of the registration of persons Act Cap107 Laws of Kenya respectively. CRC No. 1053/2012. SPM;s Court Mumias

Jackson  Sikunga Maloba was remandee at the Kakamega Prison where he found the Prison Paralegals ready to assist him with his matter. Among some of the issues raised included; he claimed the case was a frame up, his advocate was not representing him well; his bond pending appeal was dismissed-HCCR. MISC. APP. 33/2016 to which he appealed to the High Court vide HCCR.A No 62/2016. Mr. Sikunga claims he was ailing and even walking had become a problem as he was continually being helped by other prisoners to get his meals or even clean up himself and his clothing. The basis of his appeal was a request for mercy from the courts.

The prison paralegals took up this matter and advised that he should regularly take his drugs and continue to do some walking within the compound. They also recommended that the prison social welfare officer should call his lawyer to come and give him assurances on the progress of his case. The prison documentation office should help him request a review of his sentence. The prison paralegals also advised that the prison medical officer to write a supporting report on his medication.

The Officer-In-Charge wrote to the High Court to review Mr. Sikunga’s sentence on 2nd February 2017 VIDE: KAK/G/DOC/P/1/VOL. XXII/360 and Mr. Sikunga was discharged on bond pending appeal on 17th March, 2017. Successful.

II. Derrick Onyango

OFFENCES: Being in possession of narcotic drugs C/Sec.  3(1) and 3(2) (a) of the narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. CRC No. 2010/017. CRM’s Court KAK-1 year sentence

Mr. Onyango who was a 21 years old University student was arrested while at the Nakumatt Supermarket in Kakamega town buying rizzler papers and found in possession of a stick of bhang. He informed the prison paralegals that he needed to be helped to go back to school and continue with his studies. He was subsequently advised to write a petition  to the High Court for revision of his sentence and that he should attach his admission letter, course programme, student ID and if possible a letter from the university confirming his continuation.

The prison paralegals drafted the petition for Mr. Onyango  which was received by the High Court on 11th August, 2017- HCCR. Misc APPL No. 63/2017. He attended Court for the application severally for mentions of the same and was discharged on 26th September 2017 to serve One Year Community Service Order (C.S.O). Successful.

III. Sammy Ongadi

OFFENCE: Defilement C/Section 8 (1) as read with Section 8 (2) of the Sexual Offences Act No. 3 of 2006. CRC No. 316/2012- SPM’s Court, Vihiga.

Mr. Ongadi approached the Kakamega Prison Justice Centre with a pending appeal at the High Court in Kakamega seeking help to inform the Court about his ailment in prison and the fact that he had not received proceedings to enable him prepare submissions. The prison paralegals advised him to swear an affidavit enumerating his ailments and assisted him in writing an application for court proceedings.

A request for proceedings was subsequently forwarded by the Justice centre on 7th April 2017 together with Mr. Ongadi’s affidavit which was forwarded on the same day. On hearing of his matter the prisoner was discharged by appeal on 23rd October 2017. Successful.

IV. Javan Anyanga

OFFENCES: C.T I: Gang Rape C/Sec 140/PC C.T. II: Defilement 8(1) and 8(3) C.T. III: Defilement 21/2/2008. CRC No. 65/2007-SRM’s Court Mumias. Sentence: Life

When Mr. Javan Anyanga presented his matter to the Kakamega Prison Justice Centre; his appeal had already taken long. Mr. Anyanga had become visually impaired while in prison and was requesting assistance with fast tracking of the case.

The prisoner serving a life sentence was advised to write a reminder to Court (which the prison paralegals drafted on his behalf) and was also advised to see the prison medical officer to draft for him a report to support his submissions.

The parlagals prepared the reminder which was presented to the Court together with a report from the prison medical officer to support his submissions. Mr. Anyanga was consequently discharged by appeal on 23rd October 2017. Successful.

Kituo Cha Sheria.