The Uganda Prisons department is still hunting for a prisoner who escaped from Luzira Upper Prison 37 years ago. The prisons authorities still hope to re-arrest Sergeant Lawrence Sokoro and charge him for escaping from lawful custody.
The Uganda Prisons department is still hunting for a prisoner who escaped from the West Wing of Luzira Upper Prison 37 years ago.
The prisons authorities still hope to re-arrest Sergeant Lawrence Sokoro and charge him for escaping from lawful custody.
The 1975 daring escape of Sergeant Sokoro from the maximum security prison remains the most prominent escape in Uganda’s prison system.
Until the prisons department sees the body or a post mortem report confirming his death, Sokoro remains a wanted man who must return to prison to complete his sentence.
Prisons spokesperson Frank Baine still prefers to withhold some information on Sergeant Sokoro but says the soldier shot and killed a colleague and was convicted and sentenced to spend five years in jail. But while in jail, Sokoro reportedly made a rope out of blanket threads which he used to scale the wall out of Luzira Upper prison.
Baine explains that an escape is the most dreadful thing in the prisons, and they continue to treat claims that Sokoro was shot and killed in Arua, his home town, as rumours until they finally get his body.
Baine says that when he is re-arrested Sergeant Sokoro, an Israel trained soldier, will have to complete his three year prison term plus the 37 years he has spent on the run and add the years for escaping from lawful custody.
Baine says this is done to deter any attempts to escape. Prison authorities still believe that Sokoro is living either in Mukono, West Nile or in Sudan.
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Baine describes escape of inmates as a miscarriage of justice and all efforts must be taken to re-arrest those who would have escaped.
According to Baine, inmates who escape often commit more crimes and they get back to prison. Fifteen years ago, an inmate escaped from Rwimi government prison in Kabarole district but he committed another crime and was re-arrested in Jinja, where it was discovered that he had escaped.
Last year alone 282 inmates escaped from the 227 prisons in the country, while in 2010, 327 inmates escaped.
2006 remains the worst year for the prisons department because over 1,000 prisoners escaped from lawful custody.
Baine says inmates escaped thinking that FDC leader Kiiza Besigye had worn the presidential elections. Besigye lost the election to the incumbent, President Yoweri Museveni.
Baine notes that in prison, there is always a warder’s hand in the prisoners’ escape either by negligence or collaboration.
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Baine adds that there are incidents where prisoners escaped without breaking walls or fences like it happened in Arua, where a group of 400 inmates escaped from Arua prison in February 2006 and there wasn’t a single shot fired to stop them.