The Parliament Human Rights Committee has rejected a proposal by prisons officials to relocate Luzira Prison to Mukono District.
The Committee chaired by Sofia Nalule, MP for disabled persons, today met prisons officials led by Commissioner General Dr. Johnson Byabashaija who justified the need for relocation saying he has been under pressure from inmates to allow them conjugal rights and the need to get rid of soil buckets.
The facility is home to 3500 inmates, 400 in the women prisons, 1400 in the remand and 1700 in Murchison bay. Countrywide there are 7700 inmates.
However the committee was quick to shoot down the proposal to relocate the 86 year old prison facility arguing that there is no justification for the relocation.
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Byabashaija was quick to add that he does not want to put his hands on any cash and he will not shift if there is no available facility, on the other hand the decision to relocate lies with government and not him.
Betty Nambooze, the Mukono Municipality MP, noted that Luzira’s location is part of Uganda’s heritage and history and not to be moved. Regan Okumu, the Aswa county MP, argues that Luzira has its advantages such as security, space for expansion and proximity to courts of law.
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Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso describes the move as unfortunate saying this is an attempt to dish out public land to individuals.
The committee members only agreed to give the proposal a green light if it is to expand and rehabilitation of the facility.
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However, a seemingly determined Byabashaija says if he had an opportunity to get an investor who can relocate Luzira and take the land, he would be willing to enter into a negotiation.
Other Prisons that will be relocated is that one of Kigo, Busyenyi Prisons among others but awaits funds from Ministry of Finance to kick off.