By Henry Sekanjako
Uganda Prison services has a shortfall of sh21.2b for feeding prisoners in the next 2014/2015 financial year's budget.
According to the House Budget Committee report, Uganda Prisons requires sh48.7b for feeding prisoners but only sh 20.7b has been provided in their budget.
“The committee observes that food is a basic human right and failure to meet the minimum requirements for feeding prisoners is a violation of rights,” the report noted.
The committee chaired by Ntenjeru North MP Amos Lugolobi recommended that sh 21.2b required for feeding prisoners be provided to cater for their food.
Appearing before the committee recently, the Commissioner General of Prisons, John Byabashaija, told MPs that the prisons service was stressed due to inadequate budgetary allocations towards the prisons’ service utility bills, accommodation and prisoner’s feeding.
These prisoners could go hungry if the shortfall is not met
“There is no doubt we are stressed and strained; I don’t know how to deal with these issues because some of the issue like feeding are human rights issues,” said Byabashaija.
Byabashaija noted that to be able to feed the prisoners adequately, the prisons services require sh10,000 to feed each prisoner on a daily basis adding that even the estimated sh 3,000 is not provided.
The prisons service feeds an average of 44,476 prisoners everyday at a rate of sh3,000 per prisoner each day.
The committee noted that Uganda Prisons Service has a budgetary shortfall of sh 29.39b for utilities including arrears of sh13.7bi.
Prisons boss blames judiciary for congestion
Prisoner rise in the north
AIDS rocks Ugandan prisons
Uganda Prisons spends sh8b annually on food
Seven prisons staff sacked over corruption