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Museveni visits Luzira prisons for first time in 38 years

President Yoweri on Friday visited Luzira Prisons for the first time as president.

Mr Museveni who was presiding over the graduation of 323 prisons officers at Luzira Prisons grounds said he last visited Luzira 38 years ago when he was Minister of Defence in the government of Yusuf Lule.

“I am happy to be here in Luzira for the first time as President of Uganda. I don’t know why you didn’t invite me before! The only time I was in Luzira was in 1979 when I was Minister of Defence. I came to see soldiers who had been interned here.

So, I’m glad to be here with you,” he said in a statement issued by State House.Two years after his visit in 1979, Mr Museveni declared a five-year that brought him to power in 1986.

At least 122 Command Course Officers (CCOs), 128 Cadet Principal Officers (CPOs) and 73 Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Prisons (CASPs) were passed out at the ceremony.

In response to the remarks by the Commission General Dr Johnson Byabashaija that it was expensive to transport prisoners to courts and feeding them, Mr President suggested that judges should start trying the suspects in Luzira.

“I am going to discuss with the judiciary. Judges should come to Luzira or Prisons and try the prisoners there. The judiciary and other systems should not worship procedure, they should also look at the circumstances,” The statement quoted him.

According to Dr Byabashaija, 51.7 per cent of the 51,000 prisoners in the country are still waiting for trial and have to be transport to and from court.

“A court is any place which declared so by the relevant authority. Instead of wasting money on taking them to court and bringing them back [to prison]. Why not find them where they are?” Mr Museveni asked.

He said expediting trials and the sentencing of prisoners is one way of keeping prisons at a reduced cost.

He promised more funding to Uganda Prisons Service. “The money to enhance production systems such as cotton, silk and the furniture workshop will be got this financial year. We cannot fail to fund production and fund consumption,” he said.
He said crime prevention among the youth is one of way of reducing crime prevention in the country. At least 77% of the 51,000 prisoners are youth aged between 18-34 years.

“All youth in or out of prison must be guided to see how to fit into commercial agriculture, industrial, services, ICT and public service sectors,” he said.
He blamed police for not working out an efficient communication system to get information on crime in the country. “When I was in Masaka, I noted that there was a low level of vigilance on the part of the population and the Police yet communication systems such as phones are in place but no one has bothered to create hotlines,” he said.

©Alleastafrica and Daily Monitor

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