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Uganda Prisons Spending UGX 119M Each Day on Remanded Prisoners

Dr Flavian Zeija, the Principal Judge says there are few judges to preside over capital offences in Uganda. Out of the 82 judges recommended there are 56.
Courtesy photo of Ugandan Prisoners rioting

Audio 4

Prisoners on remand are costing the taxpayer 119 Million Shillings per day.

Frank Baine, the Spokesperson of the Uganda Prisons says each of the 29,600 prisoners currently on remand spends 4,000 shillings per day on feeding which would be avoided if the Justice Law and Order Sector (JLOS) was not facing challenges.

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Dr Flavian Zeija, the Principal Judge says there are few judges to preside over capital offences in Uganda. Out of the 82 judges recommended there are 56.

The High Court Chief Registrar Sarah Langa Siu, says there are also few Grade One and Chief Magistrates. There about 120 out of the required 200 grade one magistrates, 38 out of 57 Chiefs Magistrates serving 80 magisterial areas in Uganda, 24 Assistant Registrars and 28 deputy Registrars.

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Dr Roswitha Kremser, Chairperson JLOS Development Committee and Austria’s Ambassador to Uganda says the many prisoners on remand are undermining Uganda’s justice sector but also taking a toll on taxpayers money.

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William Byaruhanga, the Attorney General of Uganda says the government should look at these pertinent issues that constitute good governance, constitutional justice and the rule of law in JLOS.  

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Uganda currently has 264 known prisons meant to have a maximum prisoner’s population of 20,000 inmates but hold 60,797. The number of 29,600 remand prisoners alone overwhelms the required official number in Uganda’s prisons.

Last year, Members of Parliament on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) grilled the officials of Uganda Prisons Services over the prolonged stay of prisoners on remand without trial.

This followed revelations in the audit reports raised by the Auditor General that painted a grim image into the time prisoners stay, with findings indicating that some prisoners have been on remand for more than 72 months.