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First Woman Commandant Of Prisons Dies In Hospital

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First Woman Commandant Of Prisons Dies In Hospital. Photo Courtesy
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First Woman Commandant Of Prisons Dies In Hospital

The Kenya Prisons Service is in mourning following the death of the first woman commandant of Prison Staff Training College and Senior Assistant Commissioner General Wanini Kireri after a short illness.

Ms. Kireri who rose through the ranks of the Prisons Service to make history passed away Tuesday midday at the MR Hospital along Kiambu Road surrounded by family members.

Her death whose cause is still unknown was announced by the Kenya Prisons Commissioner-General John Warioba who described Ms. Kireri as a gallant, dedicated selfless and committed officer.

“Her illustrious career saw her serve in the service in various capacities. On my own behalf and on behalf of the Kenya Prisons Service. I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the family and the Kenya Prisons fraternity as I join them at this moment of grief” he said in a statement.

Ms. Kireri a professional counselor, lecturer, and author will be remembered for steering reforms in the correctional facilities.

She will be credited for introducing beauty pageants, dancing and drama competitions, and media visits among other transformational programs.

First Woman Commandant Of Prisons Dies In Hospital. Photo Courtesy

Books

The head of the largest Prisons Staff Training College (PSTC) at Ruiru authored two books titled The Disruptor, describing her journey through the service and last year Leadership Through the Eyes of a Prisons Officer highlighting her vast experience and the challenge of dealing with the Covid crisis, barely two years into her new posting.

“Not only did I have members of staff and their families residing within the Prisons Staff Training College,” she adds, “but I also had almost 2,800 trainees whose safety depended on me as the head of the institution,” she told the Daily Nation, a local daily during the launch of her book.

It was at the height of the pandemic the correctional facility for the first time conducted a pass-out parade without its usual fanfare and invited guests.

Her career journey dates back to 1982 when she had just been enlisted into the Kenya prisons service as a cadet officer with her first posting at Lang’ata Women Prisons as a duty officer.

This marked the beginning of her many promotions that catapulted her to the top of her profession.

KIRERI IS THE FIRST WOMAN IN KENYA’S PRISON SERVICE TO HOLD THE POSITION OF SENIOR ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER OF PRISONS, AND THE FIRST TO LEAD THE PRISON STAFF TRAINING COLLEGE, BASED IN RUIRU AS ITS COMMANDANT.

First Woman Commandant Of Prisons Dies In Hospital. Photo Courtesy

Career highlights

  • 1986 Promoted and transferred to Embu Women Prisons as the officer in charge.
  • 1993 she got promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Prisons
  • 2006 she was transferred to Shimo La Tewa Maximum Prisons, a male-only prisoners institution, as the first-ever female officer in charge of the prison.
  • 2017 she moved from the Nairobi Region to Prisons Headquarters as the Director, Legal Section
  • 2018  appointed Commandant of the Ruiru Prisons Staff Training College

Her initiatives have won her awards both locally and internationally.

Some of these national and global awards include:

  • Elder of The Burning Spear (EBS) 2020
  • (ICPA) Outstanding Correctional Service Employee Award- 2019
  • Recipient of The Crime Si Poa Life Time Achievement Award 2019
  • Public Servant of The Year Award (PSOYA) 2015
  • Heroes Award- 2014
  • Special Recognition on Women’s Day -2014
  • Xtreeme Teeneez -Life Time achievement 2014.
  • Prisons Officers Award for The Best Managed Institution Recognized by The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights 2007-2009.
  • Recognized as a Change Agent in Kenya -2009.
  • Recognition by Reach out Center for Drugs & Rehabilitation for successfully facilitating service to humanity, 2008.
  • Special Recognition Award -Eve Woman of The Year Award- 2008.
  • Impact Award by Word of Life International for being a role model to the youth in -2008.
  • Order of The Golden Warrior (OGW) 2005.
  • Recipient of the She Tribute Award for her Outstanding Achievements and Contribution to People-Family TV- 2004

COURTESY

Felicity Gitonga
Felicity Gitonga is the founder of Africa Business News. abn, freelance writer, journalist, and author with a passion for telling stories.

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