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Moroto prisons under renovation after escape of inmates

The front look of Moroto Central Government Prison where 248 inmates escaped with 15 guns last year, So far five guns have been recovered and 60 escapes have been rearrested

Moroto, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  Moroto Central Prison is under renovation, six months after inmates escaped from the facility in September 2020. At least 223 inmates overpowered prison warders at the Singila based prison, broke into the armoury and made off with 15 guns.

Following the jailbreak Dr. Johnson Byabashaija, the Commissioner General of Uganda Prison Services promised several changes to the home of people condemned by the law. Our reporter visited the facility mid this work and found several ongoing works outside and inside the prisons cells. He also observed a newly built internal fence and gate limiting inmates to an exit with thorough scrutiny. 

In the compound, some inmates dug up pits and house- like foundation next to the old buildings of the prisons houses.  The prison management has also installed CCTV cameras at different points that monitor activities within and outside prison cells. At the main entrance to the prison premises, visitors are subjected to thorough checks before accessing the premises.   They are not allowed to access the prisons with any gadgets and mobile phones. However, the Moroto Prison in Charge, Latif Mayamba declined to comment about the ongoing works.

“You come here after three months. There is no work yet”, he said. Frank Baine, the Uganda Prison Spokesman says the new changes are expected to provide safety measures in the management of prisoners in Moroto. He notes that the changes were communicated by the Commissioner General of Prisons during his visit to the facility.   

During his visit, Byabashaija said that they look into a number of things to avoid a repeat of the September incident. He promised equipment like tactical jackets, helmets, gate cage and watchtowers among others to the personnel manning prison security as an emergency intervention after the Moroto Prison break. 

Meanwhile, no other arrests of the escapees or recovery of additional guns have been recorded in Moroto since February. According to Baine, whereas he has not yet got updates from his staff in Moroto, the number of inmates recaptured is 60 with five guns. Those killed by the forces during operations remain four.  

Although Dr. Byabashaija announced a bounty of Shillings 1.5 million for every gun recovered and UGX. 500,000 for each person who surrenders a prisoner, not much has been achieved.



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