7 Kenyan prison wardens arrested following escape of three terrorism convicts

The Kamiti Maximum Prison.PHOTO/TWITTER
The Kamiti Maximum Prison.PHOTO/TWITTER

Seven wardens at Kenya’s Kamiti Maximum Prison have been arrested following the escape of three convicts who were serving jail terms for terrorism-related crimes.

Speaking on Monday at the prison, the Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said preliminary investigations suggested the escape was abetted by laxity and incompetence and vowed to ensure more arrests and prosecutions.

“Definitely, there is a certain level of irresponsibility we have to deal with in this particular case.”

He further announced that a massive manhunt involving specialized teams had been launched.

“We have gone to the place where the escape allegedly happened, and we have formed certain opinions. We don’t want to discuss that because we don’t want to interfere with the work that the DCI is doing,” Matiang’i said.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations(DCI) has since put a Sh60m bounty on the heads of the terror suspects.

Matiang’i reiterated that the government will protect whistle-blowers who will volunteer information that could lead to the rearresting of the prisoners.

“We are all mobilized and we have sent messages across the country and all exit and possible movement points out of the country. We are going to conduct a massive manhunt for those three. We have to get them,” Matiangi said.

The three escapees, Musharraf Abdalla Akhulunga a.k.a Zarkarawi, Mohammed Ali Abikar, and Joseph Juma Odhiambo have been described as armed and dangerous.

Abikar was charged and convicted in 2019 over his links to Al-Shabaab and for abetting the Garissa University attack of April 2015 that left 148 people dead.

Odhiambo was arrested in 2019 for trying to join the Somali terror group.

Akhulunga was arrested in 2012 over a foiled attack on Kenya’s parliament and charged with possessing explosives, ammunition, and firearms.