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Senior Kenyan prison commander Wanini Kireri is dead

She was the first woman commandant of the Kenya Prison Staff Training college

Wanini Kireri, Senior Assistant Commissioner General of Prisons and the first woman commandant of Prison Staff Training College

The first woman commandant of Prison Staff Training College and Senior Assistant Commissioner General of Kenya Prisons Wanini Kireri has passed on after a short illness.

A close colleague of Madam Kireri confirmed to this writer that she passed away on Tuesday, May 31 morning with details yet to be released to the public.

Ms Kireri joined Kenya Prisons back in 1982 as a cadet officer and her first posting was at Lang’ata Women's Prisons as the duty officer.


In 1986 she was promoted and transferred to Embu Women's Prisons as the officer in charge. While at the helm of the facility, Kireri spearheaded key changes like upholding the hygiene levels at the prison as well as getting inmates and staff new uniforms.

In 1993, she was again promoted to the rank of a superintendent of Prisons – a position that saw her moved to the Prisons College as a Senior Lecturer.

“My duties were mainly training to impart knowledge to both serving officers and newly recruited trainees. I also served as the College Adjutant,” Wanini Kireri.

After serving at Prisons College for some time, Kireri earned another promotion, this time being tasked to lead Nakuru Women Prisons as the Officer-In-Charge.


She was also the force behind formal education for inmates, an initiative that was supported fully by well-wishers who provided stationery for inmates.

In 2006 she was transferred to Shimo La Tewa Maximum Prisons, as the first female officer in charge of a male-only prisoner’s institution. Four years later (2010), she came back to Nairobi as the Provisional Prisons Commander now known as Regional Prisons Commander, a job that entails supervising all prisons in the Nairobi region.

In 2017, she moved to Prisons Headquarters as the Director, Legal section and in 2018 she was crowned as senior Commandant of the Ruiru Prisons Staff Training College, a position she held until her demise. She was the first female officer to hold this position in Kenya.


Apart from serving in the Prisons Service, Wanini Kireri was also a renown author who had launched two books ‘The Disruptor’ and ‘Leadership Through the Eyes of a Prisons Officer’.

“I am proud to release my second book, ‘Leadership Through the Eyes of a Prisons Officer’, which contains nuggets of wisdom gathered in my long professional journey,” Wanini Kireri said in August 2021.

Here is a feature Pulse Kenya did on Madam Kireri for the International Women's Day.


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