A section of the community now lives in fear especially about the firearms that are in the wrong hands. Dinah Ayo, a resident in Moroto town says the loose firearms could be used by the escapees to perpetuate more crime, not only in Moroto but anywhere in the country.
The escape of 219 prisoners from Moroto Prison on Thursday, September 17th has triggered
panic in the community and within the leadership in the district.
Official records indicate that the prisoners fled with 15
guns and 400 rounds of ammunition and none has been recovered. This adds into
the outstanding cases of illegal guns still in the hands of the community of
Karamoja. Much as government launched a disarmament exercise in 2003, there are still
cases of illegal guns in the hands of the local community.
A section of the community now lives in fear after the Prison break and especially
that the firearms are in the wrong hands. Dinah Ayo, a resident in Moroto
town says the loose firearms could be used by the escapees to perpetuate more
crime, not only in Moroto but anywhere in the country.
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Catherine Alanyo, another resident in Moroto town says that
the escape of inmates is a security threat in the region. She also notes that the
raid on the armory was unfortunate and showed laxity by the security organs
in detecting and prevention of crime.
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According to sources from police who didnot want to be disclosed, 23
of the inmates who broke loose are soldiers and hardcore criminals facing the 3rd
Division Court Martial in Moroto.
Besides the security and the community is
also worried of the possible spread of COVID-19 by some of these escapees incase they were affected.
The Uganda Prisons Spokesman, Frank
Baine indicates that 30 inmates and four officers tested positive to the virus some time back,
and this prompted prisons authorities to take samples of all the inmates
and staff for testing in Entebbe. By the time of their escape, results of testing had not yet
returned but all the inmates were under quarantine.
Hellen Pulkol, the RDC of
Moroto warns residents against hosting escapees, whom she notes could be
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The Uganda Prison Service team from Kampala, Police and the
Army are on the ground to establish facts regarding the escape of prisoners