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Tasting Freedom After Years at Nairobi Remand Prison

Updated on August 11, 2021
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Nyamweya is a columnist with a Kenyan print media.He is also a freelance writer with various online and offline media platforms

Out At Last!!: From Nairobi Remand Prison

“You honor, there is a letter from the attorney general ordering that the case concerning the accused Silas Nyamweya be dismissed due to public interest “. Those where the memorable words from a prosecutor which are lingering in my head up to date!

“Due to the order from the attorney general’s chambers, the accused is set free and can exercise his rights as a free man under section 2I0 of the penal code”. The last words from the magistrate who was concerned about my case could not be believable in my ears. In fact I thought that I was day dreaming in broad day light. The excitement and joy in me made me feel uneasy and uncomfortable. Considering that my case was a capital offense and that I had stayed in remand for over two years.

I was not worried at first over my case but many circumstances contributed to my worries and loss of hope. One, my fellow in-mates whom I narrated my ordeal to tried to discourage me from expecting reprimand, pardon or even freedom under any circumstances . Two, the lawyers whom I contacted told me plainly not to expect mercy, pardon freedom or anything from the court since my case is “open’ i.e. all evidence of the case were open. Third, most prison workers that knew my case used to joke that I will ‘rot’ in prison, meaning that I would never see freedom. Fourth, there was one “spiritual pastor” in prison who "prophesized" about my ordeal and that God was out to punish me. I had become a worried man since according to me, I had done no sin and there is no way a true God can punish somebody who is innocent. I came to hate that spiritual pastor who was also an inmate since that day.

My court clearance took years if not ages to be completed. Imagine, the magistrate had ordered my release at 9.00 in the morning, but the prison officials cleared me by 4.30p.m. In fact I had to think that the whole process was a hoax, but when the heavy metallic doors were finally opened, I now saw the realities of the matter. At least I could mingle with the rest of the law abiding citizens. Though I had the fear of being rearrested under section 87[A] of penal code, the fear eventually vanished when I did not see any police officer in site after walking around 200 meters. I went straight to my cousin who lives in a place called Mlolongo, outskirts of Nairobi. He welcomed me with two hands.

After having a small chat with him on remand life and the hardship I had gone through, he decided to contact my villagers and relatives on my release. If scientists could have measured the most joyful woman on that day, they could have found out that she was Jackline Nyakundi, my mother, she was the happiest, excited and joyous woman on earth on that day. Other joyous people were my villagers and relatives but some as I realized later were being pretenders. There is no way my father could pretend to be happy on my release when first, he never came to visit me in remand. In fact people had tried to persuade him with even financial contributions purposely for me, but he used to squander all the money on alcohol. My aunt Julia, used to say all forms of ills concerning me, that I was a useless man who never helped them with anything and that I was of no value to them!

My father’s second wife Nora also used to tell my mother to her face that she had not cried enough, that she will stop crying when I will be life imprisoned at Kamiti Maximum prison. Take also another cousin of mine calling himself Dennis. There is no way he could pretend to be happy when he was the one who caused my arrest in the first place. So when he pretending to be happy and welcoming, I was more than shocked. Wonders will never cease. No wonder such people were shocked to hear that I was a freeman and very health physically. That is why I tell people not to joke with the almighty because you will never understand how he works!


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