‘Kufungwa ni kitu mbaya,’ Sirisia MP John Waluke opens up on his 120-day stay in jail
Sirisia MP John Waluke has spoken for the first time since he left jail where he was serving a 74-year term.
The MP who was granted Ksh.10M cashbail spoke to Citizen TV’s Steve Letoo in a candid interview, detailing his four-month stint in the slammer.
During the interview, the legislator chose to take a walk in the Nairobi arboretum, to partake in the freshness of the wild that he had craved for over 100 days.
“It has been very hard, very difficult because you have changed from normal life to prison, even the food changes, it is tough,” he began.
While speaking about his days in jail, Waluke said all the days were relatively the same, the inmates would just sit all day long as there was nothing to do.
“You see there was not a lot to do in jail, there is nothing to do, there is not enough room, it was a small compound,” he said.
The legislator now says there was no preferential treatment, adding that he was treated just like any other inmate.
The sudden shift in fortunes, the MP says, was very hard to acclimatize to, adding that it took him a good three weeks to adjust to the new lows.
“I used to sit alone, I did not mix or interact with anybody,” he added
Jail presented a slew of horrors to the legislator who previously strode to top offices decked in the finest suits.
He said it was difficult for him to get used to wearing the Zebra- the jail slang for the striped prison uniform.
Every day, inmates would have their lunch at 10 am and their dinner at 2 pm, they would thereafter be locked up till 6 am the next morning for breakfast- a cup of porridge.
“Food was just a sukuma wiki leaf (collard greens) with water, if you were lucky, you would get two leaves, it is cooked water, mixed with salt.. it is like a soup, the ugali was not well done, but there was no option,” Waluke said.
Sleep time was very unusual too, prisoners would pack into a room and sleep facing one side in a spoon position.
When it was time to change sleeping positions, an inmate they had nicknamed governor would announce it was time to switch, at which they would all turn.
If you left the room for a bathroom break, you would lose your sleeping position and would have to spend your night on your feet.
During his stint in jail, the MP said he was never taunted, saying that fellow inmates called him mheshimiwa.
On his takeaways, Walukhe asked Kenyans to refrain from crime, saying his experience will make him a better lawmaker.
He also paid cash bail for 57 inmates who had been unable to raise amounts ranging from Ksh.1,000 to Ksh.4,000.