On Jamhuri day, President Uhuru Kenyatta pardoned 48 long serving inmates.
Among them was 67 year old James Mureithi, who has been locked up in Kamiti Maximum Security Prison for the last 41 years. Mureithi says he needs Sh20 million to start his life afresh.
“I don’t know where to go after I leave prison. My relatives abandoned me after I was convicted. I want Sh20 million or at least Sh15 million to rebuild my life,’ he told the Star newspaper.
When asked what he intends to do with that money, he said,
“You are asking an old man like me what to do with the cash? I will buy land, build a house and remarry.”
Before he got locked up in the 70s, Mureithi had a wife and children, but refused to name them.
“I learned she got married elsewhere after my sentencing. You know a wife cannot wait for you for several years when you are in prison, She must move on,” he added.
Mureithi was arrested in 1974 after murdering a neighbour following a land dispute. He was 36 years of age at the time.
He was sentenced to death in 1982, and says that while in jail, he was a senior preacher.
“I was in charge of spiritual welfare in the whole prison. Moving from one block of cells to another, I prayed for the sick, our country and God said amen,” he said.
At present, Mureithi is being hosted at a catholic church home within the prison, before probation officers trace his relatives.
I’m not sure what he heard while in there, but the shilling has not lost that much value since he was locked up. Sh20 million can do a lot more than buy land and build a house.. unless you’re building a mansion.
If at all such a program exists, I think 0.5 million would be enough for a small piece of land in a rural area, plus a semi-permanent house with a few thousands remaining to start a small grocery business at his local market.
As for monetary assistance for his marriage, I think that’s overstepping. After all, he was not locked up for the good he had done.
Additional reporting by The Star
Here’s a clip of another inmate freed on Jamhuri day.