By Petride Mudoola
UGANDA Prisons Service has sacked seven of its staff over corruption allegations, after investigations carried out by Prison’s Council pinned them, the Deputy Commissioner General of Prisons James Mwanje has disclosed.
Mwanje could not disclose the names of the prison warders but said that the staff were fired subsequent to the Inspector General of Government’s report of 2013 that exposed corruption within Uganda Prisons Services.
Mwanje revealed this during the pass out of the newly Non-Commissioned Staff held at the Prison Training School and Staff College on Tuesday. Over 50 staff underwent the one month training.
The report pointed out three cardinal points where corrections officers were involved in corruption. The highest form of corruption was witnessed among prison warders deployed to take prisoners to courts of law.
“Instead of ensuring that prisoners are taken to court in time and returned to prison as stipulated in our standing orders, prison warders tend to act as a go-between for prisoners and their relatives yet lawyers are responsible for that,” Mwanje said.
The IGG’s report noted that the warders extort money from prisoner’s relatives which is unacceptable.
“Our staff have changed into lawyers by way of demanding for money from prisoner’s families,” the deputy commissioner General expressed concern.
He said that so far seven officers were dismissed following investigations carried out by the prisons council.
The report further revealed cases in which officers in charge of prisons repossessed prisoner’s property yet they are required to safe guard all the items obtained from inmates before returning them to the owners.
Prisons’ authority has received reports implicating upcountry officers in the mismanagement of prisoner’s cash. He asked inmates to use the toll-free line in place to log their complaints. Any staff implicated in corruption risks losing his job he cautioned.
John Bosco Tumwebaze the Commandant Prison Training School asked the newly trained staff to support transformation of wrongdoers.
“Although they happen to be in conflict with the law, we are here to rehabilitate them. So use the skills you have acquired in the training to help prisoners become responsible citizens upon discharge Tumwebaze appealed to the staff.