UGX 18bn Needed for Operationalisation of Kitalya Prison

The facility, whose construction commenced in July 2016 by Ambitious Construction Company Limited at a price of18.3 billion shillings, now requires a similar amount to procure furniture as well as facilities for staff to manage and run the prison.
Mini-max security prison at Kitalya whose completion slated for June, 2019.

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The Uganda Prisons Service is seeking additional funding of 18.136 billion shillings for operationalisation of Kitalya Prison.

Located in Kitalya village, Busujju County, in Wakiso District, the facility is supposed to accommodate 2,000 prisoners to de-congest Luzira Maximum Security Prison. 

The facility, whose construction commenced in July 2016 by Ambitious Construction Company Limited at a price of18.3 billion shillings.

The facility according to the design will have big sized prison wards and 30 cells all fitted with modern sanitary facilities that can accommodate up to 2,000 inmates with a fully-fledged medical wing, complete with an inpatient section and isolation rooms for contagious diseases.

A total of 70 Closed-Circuit Television –CCTV camera points and a control room with 24-hour surveillance on-site and offsite are expected to be procured for the facility in addition to a modern kitchen equipped with power saving technology, classroom blocks equipped with a computer lab and library, a large workshop block specifically designed and built for prison industry activities. 

It will also have full-fledged sport facilities including a football pitch, volley ball court, basketball court and lawn tennis court; a multipurpose hall; multiple watch towers; and a modern administration block.

Amolatar District woman MP Doreen Amule, the Defense and Internal Affairs Committee Chairperson says that unless the money is realized, the facility will not open.” 

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Prisoner population in Uganda is on the rise, being the major cost driver of the prison’s budget.

While the Country’s population is growing at 3% annually, the prisoner population growth stands at 4.7% more than the birth rates. The Uganda Prisons Services estimate that the number of prisoners will increase to a daily average of 66,812 prisoners in Financial Year 2019/120. 

A recent parliamentary committee on the Ministerial Statements and Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2019/2020 indicates that the current average prisoner's population of 55,229 prisoners exceeds the prisons carrying capacity by 37,925 prisoners. 

The carrying capacity of all the 254 prisons across the country is 17,304 prisoners an equivalent of 4 times occupancy level with the congestion standing at 319.2% with some prisons housing up to 8 times their designed capacities. 

The committee observed that this high number of people in cells has increased the operational cost of the sector and exerts pressure on feeding, housing, sanitation, utilities, Medicare, uniforms and staff number. This is largely attributed to the slow judicial process and prosecution according to Amule. 

The Prisons spokesperson Frank Baine, says that the increase in the number of prisoners’ demands that staff be increased.

According to Baine, a total of 28,000 prisoners are on remand while 29,000 have been convicted.

This increase in the number of prisoners requires more trained personnel, he adds. The current number of prison staff is at 9,000 personnel out of the 47,000 needed. 

“You know, as the prisoners increase, we need to have more staff. Because we are permitted to recruit in the next recruitment of about 1,000 warders and they need where to sleep because we already have a shortage of about 2,000 houses,” Baine discloses. 

Baine says furnishing the new facility won’t be an easy go but hopes that by December, Kitalya will be occupied.//Cue in: “Right now they are completing…

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Amule adds that there is need for Uganda Police to carry out investigations before arrest of suspects especially for minor offences to reduce one pre-trial detention period.

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In the on-going Manifesto implementation week, the Ruling NRM government has boasted of constructing six prisons since 2016 with the same purpose of de-congesting the main prisons.

These include; Orom-Tikau in Kitgum District, Ruimi farm prison in Kabarole district, Amita prison farm in Abim, and other prisons in Nebbi, Mutukula, Adjumani.