Bernard Gitau @benagitau
President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday signed the Kenya Prisons Enterprise Corporation Order of 2018 aimed at unlocking the revenue potential of the prisons industry and eliminate bureaucracy.
A statement from State House he said the Order establishes the Kenya Prisons Enterprise Corporation mandated to expand the scope of the prisons work programmes which will ultimately turn it into a reformative and financially self-sustaining entity.
“The new corporation will also contribute to the realisation of President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, particularly Food Security, Affordable Housing, and Manufacturing,” read the statement in part.
In this regard, it will be mandated to organise and manage the assets of the Prisons Department including 86 prison farms with 18,225.9 acres of land.
The land will be put mechanisation, irrigation and livestock breed improvement.
The corporation will also undertake manufacturing through industrialisation and agro-processing.
The modernisation of prisons industries include — number plate making, leather, textile, handicraft and soft furnishing and metalwork.
Through this, the corporation will see an increase in production of quality military boots, jackets, suitcases, shoes and other leather products.
The Kenya Prison Farms Fund and the Kenya Prison Enterprise Fund manage the production and sale processes under the current Prisons Department’s enterprise directorate.
Following the enactment of the Order, the two funds will be merged to ensure the new corporation operates under a typical business model purposely to spur economic growth in the Prisons Department.
The enactment of this Order will be followed by the appointment of the corporation Board of Management and the recruitment of the Chief Executive Officer and the Secretariat.
The corporation will also establish a culture of professional training and certification for the staff and inmates and foster ease of entry into partnership with the private sector on different spheres.
The corporation, which will operate as a State Corporation under the State Corporation Act Cap 446 Laws of Kenya, will be wholly owned by the government and mainstreamed by the Prison Act Cap 90, Borstal Institution Act Cap 92 and Persons Deprived of Liberty Act of 2014.