Friday, 22 November 2013

Parliament rejects Luzira Prison relocation

Members of Parliamnet have rejected a fresh plan by government to relocate Luzira Prison under a swap deal with a private investor.
The Prisons Service officials led by the Commissioner General of Prisons, Mr Johnson Byabashaija, told Parliament’s Human Rights Committee on Thursday of the plan to relocate the prison and build a 10,000-inmate capacity detention centre.
Mr Byabashaija said the move is intended to decongest the prison.
There is also a plan to relocate Kigo Prison to allow the construction of a 6,000 capacity correctional facility under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
“If I got an investor who can relocate Luzira Prison and take the land, I would be willing to enter into a negotiation. Luzira has got a capacity of 1,700 inmates but we are holding 7,700 inmates. Conventional wisdom would tell you that you need to do something about that,” Mr Byabashaija told MPs.
However, they said the plan is a ploy by the government to gift public land to private investors at the expense of taxpayers. The MPs cited land for Shimoni Demonstration School, Uganda Railway and Butabika hospital, which were given to private investors.