The Uganda Prisons Services has defended its decision to transfer the State Minister for Labour and Industrial Development Mwesigwa Rukutana to Kitalya maximum security prison.
Rukutana was last week transferred from Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara and detained at Kitalya prison in Wakiso district, prompting several members of the public, especially on social media to make comments regarding the same.
Many claimed that being a minister, Rukutana was moved to a well facilitated prison at Kitalya, a privilege they said is enjoyed by a few prisoners.
However, addressing journalists on Monday, Prisons spokesperson, Frank Baine said the Commissioner General of Prisons is given powers under the Prisons Act of 2006 to cause the transfer of an inmate to any prisons around the country if he so wishes.
“Section 73 of the Prisons Act,2006 says it is the discretion of the Commissioner General of Prisons to transfer an inmate from prison to another due to safety, security, and medical grounds. It is the responsibility of the Commissioner General to determine when to move or not an inmate,”Baine said.
Kitalya Maximum Security Prison was early this year opened and speaking to Nile Post recently, Dr.Johnson Bybashaija said the new prison was set aside as an isolation centre for new inmates.
Speaking to journalists on Monday, Baine explained that whereas the initial plan for the construction of Kitalya was to help decongest Luzira, especially for high profile inmates, the new facility is now used to keep new inmates.
He added that it was normal for the minister to be transferred to Kitalya from Mbarara where he was first detained considering his profile and the nature of his case.
“If an inmate is of high profile, the Commissioner General of Prisons can order for his transfer. He is not the first inmate to be transferred to Kitalya, even Hon, Lutamaguzi was transferred from Nakaeseke to Kitalya. It is normal business.”
“When the situation goes back to normal, we can move him back to Luzira or other prisons around the country.”
Last week, Rukutana was arraigned before the grade one magistrate’s court in Ntungamo but none of his bodyguards was brought to court, neither has anything been said of them.
“Mwesigwa Rukutana and others still at large on September 5, 2020 at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district unlawfully attempted to cause the death of Daniel Rweburingi contrary to section 204(a) of the Penal Code Act,” the magistrate read the charges.
He was also charged with assault and causing bodily harm onto one of his victims, threatening violence and malicious damage.
Rukutana’s charges stem from a Saturday shooting incident in Ruhama, Ntungamo district in which one person was seriously injured and a motor vehicle damaged.
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