Matiang’i challenges women to strive for leadership posts
Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 03:55 | 2 mins read
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi has challenged women to strive to lead and make a difference in leadership positions.
Speaking when he presided over the launch of two books authored by Kenya Prisons College Commandant Wanini Kireri, the CS challenged women to always make a positive difference in their positions.
Matiang’i said Kireri had walked a male-dominated path because of her courage, creativity, confidence and trust in herself.
Kireri is the first woman in Kenya’s Prison Service to hold the position of senior assistant commissioner of prisons, and the first to lead the Prison Staff Training College as its commandant.
Kireri has authored two books ‘Leadership through the Eyes of a Prisons Officer’ and ‘The Disruptor’.
The latter is autobiographical and details the prison reforms in the Kibaki administration which then Vice-President Moody Awori and Kireri led.
“It is one thing to occupy a position of leadership and it is quite another to be a leader. Indeed, all leadership is about change. There cannot be true leadership without disruption. And this is exactly what Ms Kireri’s leadership has been all about,” said Matiang’i.
He challenged the author to do podcasts so that she can reach more people and encourage them to do better.
Reliving the journey of her life, Kireri said: “When I joined the prison service in the early eighties, I was confronted with a very harsh reality. Our prisons were in a very deplorable state. Those incarcerated in our jails had to spend years of confinement in overcrowded and filthy quarters, inadequate food allocations, and little or even no clothing, among other inhumane conditions.”
Comprehensive prison reforms
She said under difficult conditions such as little funding they embarked on comprehensive prison reforms under the leadership of Awori.
“I was privileged to be part of the prison service leadership that was instrumental in executing far-reaching reforms in our prisons. Some of the achievements that I really cherish in my long career include spearheading the adoption of the open-door policy in the Kenya Prisons Service, an initiative which completely changed the face of the service.”
One of the positions Kireri has held in the correctional system include the Provincial Prisons Commander of the Nairobi region.
Here she initiated talent development programmes that ranged from fashion shows, dancing competitions, sports, comedy, journalism and fine arts; character development programmes such as Alpha, Men of Honour and Women of Peace; modern courses such as training in computer programmes as well as staff seminars on stress management, peak performance, and financial management.