By JULIA DAIA BORE
WHILE the Government is focused on recapturing William Nanua Kapris and 11 other hardcore prisoners who escaped from Bomana maximum security unit on Jan 12, security at the Bomana prison is exposed with only one warder guarding the main compound which holds 300 male prisoners, according to a senior officer at Bomana jail.
The acting manager, administrative and security/operations for Bomana jail, Snr Insp Job Takomo, expressed this concern last Friday in regard to 20 prison warders being pulled out of the prison to assist in the manhunt for the escapees.
He said the sole warder on duty at the main compound stands guard day and night.
“This is highly critical and could result in more jail breakouts if the authorities are not careful and concentrating only on the 12,” Snr Insp Takomo said.
“We are already stretched in manpower, and this new idea (removing warders to assist the police) only makes the situation more critical when you look at the ratio of warders to prisoners.
“For the purpose of effecting good security management in Bomana prison, I call on the CS hierarchy to recall my security and shift duty officers back to maintain their posts which were left vacant for more than a week now.”
He said the situation could be seen as another security threat.
“If this is not a national security issue, what else can be more critical?”
He said because of this “very serious” concern, he was prepared to put his own job on the line to come to the media to air his views.
“Right now, we are short-staffed due to the removal of the 20 warders from their security duties at Bomana.”
He said he deals with administrative matters but because of the limited number of warders on duty, he was assisting his duty officers, who he said were also very concerned about the issue.
Snr Insp Takomo said he had to bring this to the attention of the authorities as the prisons were already under-staffed and to remove warders from the prisons to put them on the manhunt with the police to carry out the operation was only opening up the prisons for more escapes.
He said no notice was given to him as the acting manager of administration and security/operations, prior to the removal of the warders from their duties.
Snr Insp Takomo said: “So much has been said about the lack of manpower to effectively provide security to prisoners and that is the truth.
“That was the main reason for the prison breakouts in the country over the past months.
“In Bomana’s case, many CS officers were having their Christmas holidays and the limited number of officers were stretched out in maintaining the various security posts within the prison.”
It is understood that the escape of 12 hardcore prisoners from the maximum security unit was also the result of lack of manpower which the escapees capitalised on.
“They (escapees) planned their escape and effected it successfully, resulting in them walking out of the MSU in broad daylight,” he said.