Uganda Prisons Service spokesperson Frank Baine has urged lawyers of the National Unity Platform party Members of Parliament to remain calm since his department has handled many people with high profile.
Baine was reacting to concerns raised by the lawyers for the detained MPs after it turned out that their clients Ssegirinya Muhammad and Allan Ssewanyana had been remitted to Kigo prison other than Kitalya which was recommended by Justice Charles Yeitesi of the Masaka chief magistrates court.
Lawyers led by Erias Lukwago have contested this move by prisons authorities saying it is illegal. “Our clients were committed to Kitalya prison and that’s where we expected them to be. But to our surprise, we’ve been informed that they are in Kigo contrary to what court had pronounced,” he says. “We seek explanations from the concerned authorities. We are unsure whether our clients have even accessed meals and other necessities. You can’t rely on prisons services because anything can happen when you are in their hands,” he adds.
Baine however says lawyers should stop shedding ‘crocodile tears’ since NUP MPs are not the first people of high dignity to be held in their custody. “Hon. Allan Ssewanyana and Muhammad Ssegirinya are not special people. We have had very many important people visiting our quarters and they come out alive,” Baine says. “In the powers conferred by the Prisons manual, we are allowed to transfer inmated from one prison to another. So it’s not wrong to take these MPs to Kigo. We have over 60,000 inmates and you can’t tell me these 2 are the most important,” he added.