Opposition leader Kizza Besigye has branded diseases killing inmates at Luzira maximum prison “NRM”.
Besigye was addressing press Wednesday at FDC head offices along Entebbe road where he narrated the state of Ugandan prisons.
Besigye said remand prisoners spend so much time on remand and many of remand prisoners can stay on remand for over 2-10 years.
“There must be a limit or cap for when one can stay on remand. There are people in prison that are on remand for 7 years. The greatest majority in Luzira are on remand for over 3 years,” he narrated.
He said while being detained at Moroto government prison on treason charges, he learnt that no court has sat at all for over two years.
“This is really serious. Incidentally, if you are sent to 10 years in prison and have stayed for 6 years without trial, you will spend 4 years as a sentence.”
He said the money to try such cases is spent on “kifeesi police” not on courts and proper legal mechanisms.
He said some people have been on remand on minister’s orders for over 20 years with no review.
“We buy them yellow uniforms while they are on remand. I must commend the Uganda Red Cross Society as they have helped on welfare.”
When he was last in Luzira, Besigye narrated, many prisoners were dying.
“Some dying of malaria, diarrhoea (NRM diseases) I would like to thank the Red Cross for this work that has helped to improve sanitation at Luzira.”
“You have heard of the Al Shaabab “terrorists”. One of the suspects was not with them. He had been removed by some leaders of the police. Once you are in prison, you are not in Police’s hands. Court must give an order but routinely, these security agencies go to prison and get people out of prison, illegally to turn them as state witnesses.”
Besigye says he had accounts from some prisoners taken out of prison to meet some high ranking officers in Government and UPDF.
“These are illegal and Prisons have to say no but because the institutions have weakened, prisons officers have to comply. The institutions have been monopolised.”
He decried hurdles people have to go through to visit their loved ones at Luzira prisons saying they go through a lot of check points and have to spend the whole day there.