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Old 02-13-2004, 03:35 PM
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Angry 13-year-old convict...

13-year-old convict pleads for mercy from President Kibaki.

Sad story from Kenya, Africa.

source: http://www.nationaudio.com/News/Dail...302200414.html

A 13-year-old orphan serving a month’s jail term yesterday pleaded for presidential pardon.

The minor, serving at the Kisii prison, says he wants to go home and take care of his nine-year-old twin sisters.

He was sentenced to jail by a Kisii court on January 19, after he failed to raise the Sh500 fine imposed on him for selling food at a hotel without a certificate from the Ministry of Health.

He had been arrested three days earlier.

He appeared before senior a resident magistrate where he admitted that he was found selling mandazi at his employer’s food kiosk at Suneka on January 16.

The minor told the court then that he had been forced to take to casual employment to enable him care for his siblings.

Members of the National Human Rights Commission found him having served two weeks of his term.

The prison's boss, Mr Francis Kemei, said the boy had been one of his subjects despite having written several letters to have his case reviewed.

The minor told the Commissioners his parents died in 2002 and 2003 respectively before relatives disowned him and his sisters. None of the boy’s relatives or children’s official has been to the prisons to seek his release.

"I was forced to look for a job to feed myself and my two sisters who are still staying alone in a room a rented and that is how I was arrested by public health officials for working in a hotel without a permit from their office," the boy said amid sobs.

Mr Kemei said he unsuccessfully applied to have the minor’s age assessed by a medical doctor with a possibility of passing of an alternative sentence.

Kisii prison has 1,200 convicts and remand prisoners, three times its capacity.

Mr Kemei said there was need to agitate for a review of the prison policy where sick convicts were handcuffed on their hospital beds.

"We are asking that the policy of handcuffing prisoners on their hospital beds be reviewed so that they can also be treated like other human beings getting treatment at hospitals," Mr Kemei said.

The prisoners had also complained of insufficient drugs.

"We need a full time doctor if the loss of lifes within this prison which has about 1200,thrice its capacity were to be curbed" said one teacher prisoner.

The employer of the 13-year old boy admitted yesterday that he had employed the minor on humanitarian grounds.

Mr Anthony Ndege said the boy had gone to him seeking for a job to help him sustain his siblings following the death of their parents.
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