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Congestion in Mbarara prisons worries Inspectors, RPC asks for co-current sessions

By Vision Reporter

Added 19th May 2018 05:09 PM

Peter Ariko, the Regional Prisons Commander(RPC) told judicial officers that they are overwhelmed by the number of inmates in the facility.

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Peter Ariko, the Regional Prisons Commander(RPC) told judicial officers that they are overwhelmed by the number of inmates in the facility.

PIC: L-R RPC, Peter Ariko, justice Flavian Zaija, Her Worship, Immaculate Busingye from Mbarara main prison after the inspectionof prisons. (Credit: Adolf Ayoreka)
 
PRISONS
 
By Adolf Ayoreka
 
MBARARA - Judicial officers from the inspectorate of courts were shocked by the rate at which prison facilities are getting congested in Mbarara.
 
Immaculate Busingye, the inspector of courts, observed the crowded prisons while inspecting Kyamugorani and Mbarara main prison on Friday.
 
She observed that there are overwhelming numbers of inmates in prisons who are in need of justice, especially those that were committed and waiting for trial proceedings.
 
She attributed this to the limited number of Judges and judiciary.
 
She also noted that they need to discus this at the senior management level to ensure that all the committals are worked on as quickly as possible.
 
“Some where some how these inmates have to be patient us with us because some times we lack manpower, trying a case is not like going to the garden dig a given protion of land and finish it in one day, it takes some time and judicial officers are trying their best ti dispose off these cases.
 
 
"We have been told that Mbarara main prison was designed have only 301 inmates but apparently it has 1681 inmates which Bisingye said it worries them so much adding that it compromises security.
 
“This is a big issue that needs to be looked at in the Justice Law and Order sector and cannot be left to Uganda prison services alone, may be we may recommend most of these major districts where these inmates are coming from, they have got prison facilities that can handle these inmates such that when the judges are going for sessions they do not stop at sacuits but go down to chiefmagistrate’s courts and handle these cases from there” Busigye recommended.
 
Peter Ariko, the Regional Prisons Commander(RPC) told judicial officers that they are overwhelmed by the number of inmates in the facility. He mentioned that they have 883 commitals of which some have been detained for over six years without being tried in high court.
 
He attributed this to lack of functional Local council systems in the villages that used to handle some of the cases without reaching police and courts of law.
 
“There is nolonger reconciliation among people each case especially petty cases that happen in the village, they want to bring it to police and the accused end in prisons, if the LC systems were okay then we would not be having all these inmates here on some simple cases, and its very hard dangerous to keep committals for along time, we pray that you see how you can put co-current high court sessions and have these facilities decongested.” RPC Ariko noted.
 
Flavian Zeija the senior resident Judge for Mbarara noted these matters with concern, he said that he is going to ensure that criminal sessions are put solonger he is given money for judges.
 
Busingye went a head to quiz office supervisors at High court Mbarara when the found out that they have no registry of case files but found with only movement books and that clerks receive documents without recording them in the registry which they say can be tampered with.
 
The team was shocked to find out that some of the records assistants in high court doesnot know how to use a computer.
 
 “You see a document is supposed to be received from the registry book and be stamped as evidence of receipt its very risky for clerks to be the one stamping those documents without recording them in the registry  something can happen to such documents, that’s why you need that book, do you have records assistants? There is one who did not know how to use a computer” Justice Zeija noted.
 

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