Baine said the communication is intended to make the public aware so that they are not bounced when they go to visit inmates. Baine said with effect from today, no person will be allowed to meet any prisoner or suspects on remand regardless of his or her status.
As Covid-19 cases surge, Uganda Prisons Services-UPS has
reinstated the ban on visits to all detention centers in a bid control the spread of
the contagious disease. Soon after Uganda declared her first Covid-19 case in
March last year, UPS banned visits to all prison facilities.
The ban was lifted early this year to allow members of the
public access their relatives in jail provided they
possessed a negative Covid-19 certificate. However, in a meeting called by Dr. Johnson
Byabashaija, the Commissioner General of Prisons, three days ago, prison
commanders were ordered to ensure that no person from outside gets in contact
with any of the inmates.
Prison Spokesperson, Frank Baine, has on Monday officially
communicated the latest position purposely to alert members of the public. Baine said the communication is intended to make the
public aware so that they are not bounced when they go to visit inmates.
with effect from Monday, no person will be allowed to meet any prisoner or remand
suspects regardless of his or her status. He said all visits to prisons are suspended with
//cue in “all visitations…
Cue out “…communities”//
President Yoweri Museveni last week imposed a 42 days’
closure of education institutions, worship centres,
weekly merchandise and cattle markets and a ban on inter-district travel. Baine said UPS can only change its position if the ministry of health and Museveni make some amendments.
UPS currently has over 60,000 inmates. Of these, only
1,132 have contracted Covid-19 even though active cases stand at 47. Gulu prison
isolation and treatment centre has the highest number of cases with 40, Jinja
and Mbarara have four and three positive cases respectively.
In response to Chief Justice Alfonse Owinyi Dollo's new
Covid-19 guidelines where only urgent matters should be handled in this current
lockdown, Dr Byabashaija has said prisoners who must appear physically in
courts will be brought only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Joseph Kato is currently a Master's candidate at Makerere University. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communication from Kampala International University, a Diploma in Journalism and he's also a graduate in Guidance and Counseling.