The speaker of parliament, Rt. Hon Rebecca Kadaga has instructed the house committee on human rights to investigate prisoner conditions at Kitalya Prison. This follows public concerns about the reportedly less than agreeable conditions that some of the inmates serving them are living under.
The concerns were raised by the Mityana municipality legislator Zaake Francis Butebi who on Monday paid a visit to the jailed supporters of the National Unity Platform party. Zaake told plenary that he was compelled to drop a tear after observing the deplorable conditions that the inmates are undergoing. “The people are experiencing abdominal pains, they are poorly fed on half cooked posho. The hygiene itself is a disaster. Water is insufficient,” Zaake told parliament. “Inmates who fall sick are forced to only take painkillers regardless of the ailments they experience. Kitalya’s living conditions are a disaster and a manifestation that rights violations still occur in this country,” he added.
An infuriated Kadaga was implored to direct the parliamentary human rights committee to institute a probe into the allegations. “I hereby direct the committee to investigate this matter and come up with a report on this,” she said. “We want a report as soon as possible,” she added.
The prisons spokesperson Frank Baine told journalists that as the Uganda prison service they are open to the probe if only parliament gets clearance from the commissioner general, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija. “Let them go and get clearance from the office of the Commissioner general then they come,” he said. “We will however not entertain any element of politicking by NUP politicians who want to take advantage of the situation to have political mileage,” he warned.