Kirinya inmate loses leg in botched escape

By Petride Mudoola

Added 30th March 2017 08:24 PM

A prisoner who attempts to escape from custody is expected to serve a sentence ranging from six months to two years

Joel Bajimba an inmate at Kirinya Prison in Jinja had his leg amputated after he was shot in a futile attempt to escape. 

A prison warder attached to the prison recently shot Bajimba who was trying to escape from a vegetable garden near Kirinya swamp where he had been deployed with his colleagues to work.

The 26-year old who has been on remand on defilement charges for the last three weeks is now nursing wounds at Jinja Regional Referral  Hospital after being shot  both in the right leg and arm leading to amputation. 

A Medical officer at Jinja Hospital who spoke on condition of anonymity told New Vision that, “Bajimba had less chances of moving on his own after his right leg was seriously shattered for that reason it required amputation.”

“Bajimba’s bone was completely shattered and his leg had to be cut off. Having successfully carried out the operation, he will be able to regain movement using clutches when the wounds recover,” the doctor said. 

Asked whether the officer would be sued for the shooting, Frank Baine the Prisons Service publicist said, “The Prison Act provides for use of a gun to apprehend a prisoner in case of escape. Considering the above factor, the officer who put Bajimba out of action has no case to answer.”

“The prison warder responsible for injuring Bajimba has no case to answer because he was in the line of duty. The officer fired at the convict in order to stop him from escaping from lawful custody,” Baine added.

According to the Penal Code, a prisoner who attempts to escape from custody is expected to serve a sentence ranging from six months to two years in addition to his previous punishment.

So, Bajimba will be charged for attempted escape from custody upon his recovery. 

A similar incident happened in 2013 when Job Bwiire an inmate at Luzira Prison sustained injuries and was admitted at Mulago Hospital after he was shot by a warder in a futile attempt to escape from court.

Research carried out by the Prison's department indicates that West Nile region has the highest escape attempts countrywide.

Over 100 inmates escape from incarceration units in the West Nile region annually. 

“West Nile region has a high tendency of escapees due to lack of a maximum security prisons yet majority of the convicts accommodated within these prisons were ex-soldiers. Having undergone training while in service they take advantage of their skills to escape,” Baine said.

In 2013, five inmates escaped from Yumbe Prison while in a garden, but were re-arrested. The Yumbe attempt was followed by a similar one in Moyo where seven inmates escaped without trace.

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