Wednesday, February 1, 2017

#Uganda #31years - Government bans use of private cars to take prisoners to work on private farms

Last week we did a piece on Prison Carnage in Uganda where prisoners are transported by private cars to go work on people's farms for nearly nothing.

We are glad to update you with good news.

Following the other piece on prison carnage, the Prison authorities banned use of private cars and increased pay for prison labour.

Information is Power. Defiance is the way to go.

Below is the piece on the prison carnage.

Mid this week four inmates were killed in a road accident along FortPortal - Kamwenge Road just four kms from FortPortal town. Several other inmates and Prison Warders sustained serious injuries.

The prisoners from Katojo Prison who were being transported on a private Mitsubish pick-up vehicle number UAE 234 were going to work on a private farm in Gweri village.
In September 2016, in Ibanda, one prisoner died on the spot and 21 others when a private vehicle they were travelling in overturned along the Ibanda - Kamwenge road.  The prisoners from Nyabuhikye Prison were being taken to work on a private farm in Bisheshe.  The accident was blamed on the drunk driver.
In May 2016, 19 prisoners were critically injured and one Prison Warder died on the spot in a road accident along the Kyotera-Kabira Road in Rakai district.  The prisoners from Kalisizo Prison were being transported on a private truck to work on a private farm.

In July 2014, five prisoners died on the spot and several were injured in a motor accident along the Kabwohe-Ishaka road in Shema district. The 45 prisoners and four Prison Warders were being transported in a private FUSO lorry as they returned from working on private farms.
In October 2011, one prisoner died on the spot while two Prison Warders and eleven prisoners were seriously injured in a road accident.  Their over speeding private pickup truck, UAN 3935 carrying 15 people overturned at Kyetume along the Masaka - Mbarara Road.  They were from Lwengo Prison and were heading to Kyabusolo village to work on a private farm.
In March 2005, one 60 years old prisoner died on the spot and another 20 were seriously injured around Kagote Housing Estate within FortPortal town when the private lorry they were travelling in overturned while on its way to a private farm.
Reports of gross abuse of prisoners' human rights have been repeatedly highlighted over the years but the regime is adamant.  Prisoners are detained without trials, are tortured and in some instances killed

Court have carried out inquests in deaths in prison but we are yet to see anyone held accountable.  The welfare and living conditions of prisoners in the country is appalling. Instead, the regime is busy making manoeuvres to privatise the Prison Services the same way it has done with the Army, Police and the intelligence services.  Recently the parliamentary committee on Defence and Internal Affairs presented made a country wide tour of prison facilities.  Just this week it presented its report to the Speaker in which its mainly highlighting issues of congestion and overcrowding which it blames on the Judiciary. 
It points out that the 209 inmates who have been on death row for many years are contributing to overcrowding. This is a very unfortunate observation by such a committee.
Imagine private individuals paying prison officers for free labour by prisoners.  The same individual provides transport which causes accidents and inmates are killed and maimed.  The other day Prison vehicles were involved in evacuating traders from South Sudan yet private cars in poor mechanical condition are used to transport prisoners in some parts of the country. The prisoners earn only 100 shillings for skilled labour, 200 shillings for semi-skilled labour and 500 shillings for skilled labour rendered.

Prisons are supposed to be safe places for prisoners but imagine your loved one who is serving a sentence and looking forward to returning home but is instead killed in a stupid way.  Imagine you are held in dilapidated building and fire breaks out; did the honourable Members of Parliament ascertain if there are fire fighting equipment in prisons?  Prisons have no windows and are only locked from outside; what evacuation measures are in place in the event of fire?  What about the over speeding special prison vehicles that certain classes of prisoners between court and prison?  Imagine getting involved in a motor accident when your hands are hand-cuffed or two prisoners are jointly hand-cuffed!  REMEMBER, EVERYONE IS A POTENTIAL PRISONER.  The Commissioner General of Prisons or even his deputy can at one time become inmates the same way it is for any other Ugandan regardless of status.
Who will stop this carnage in #Uganda #prisons?

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