The Commissioner General of Uganda Prisons Service, Johnson Byabashaija told lawmakers that prisons across the country will continue to grapple with congestion if the sector’s budget is not prioritised.
Byabashaija, together with the Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Gen. David Muhoozi and representatives from the Uganda Police Force appeared before the Committee on Human Rights on Tuesday, 04 July 2023 to respond to queries on the state of human rights and freedoms in Uganda for 2022.
Byabashaija said that whilst the population of prisoners across the country has risen to 76,248 in 2023, the budget for the Prisons Service has retrogressed.
“Congestion in prisons has to increase, inevitably. The occupancy rate last year was 360 per cent against this year’s 373 per cent. The space of one person is now being occupied by four people. This is the reality,” Byabashaija said.
Byabashaija added that the budget for food, maintenance and clothing has not been increased in the 2023/2024 financial year.
Byabashaija requested the MPs to allocate Shs10.8 billion towards the construction of prisoners’ wards, fitted with water closets in the remaining 27 prisons.