Africa

Kenyan leader fires country’s prison chief over terrorist jailbreak

Just after prison boss was fired, anti-terror police arrest him at his office in capital Nairobi

Andrew Wasike   | 17.11.2021
Kenyan leader fires country’s prison chief over terrorist jailbreak

NAIROBI, Kenya

Kenya’s president on Wednesday sacked the nation’s prison chief over a jailbreak by three terrorists, including one serving time for the murders of 148 students.

Wycliffe Ogalo was fired by Uhuru Kenyatta, said a presidential statement, adding that John Kibaso Warioba, a former army officer, has already been named his successor.

The appointment follows a briefing to Kenyatta over security breaches at the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison that led to the three inmates’ escape.

Just after he was fired, heavily armed anti-terror police arrested Ogalo at his office in the capital Nairobi, along with Kamiti Warden Charles Mutembei and his deputy, and they were taken to the criminal investigations headquarters for grilling over the escape.

At the time of Monday’s escape, Mohamed Ali Abikar was serving a 41-year sentence for involvement in the 2015 killing of 148 students in Kenya.

Of the two other escapees, one took part in a failed 2012 terrorist attack on the parliament building, while the other was arrested in 2019 while trying to enlist with the al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group al-Shabaab.

The State Department of Correctional Services is set to take disciplinary action against personnel who were on duty when the prison break took place.

Since the escape, seven wardens from Kamiti have already been arrested.

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