Parliament calls for clarification on Luzira Prison relocation amid land grabbing allegations

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Parliament calls for clarification on Luzira Prison relocation amid land grabbing allegations
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The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has urged Premier Robinah Nabbanja to summon Minister of Internal Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire, for clarification on the reported relocation of Luzira Prison.

This move comes in response to growing concerns raised by MPs regarding the integrity of the relocation process, especially considering Otafiire's alleged involvement in multiple land-grabbing scandals across Uganda.

During a parliamentary session, Speaker Among emphasized the need for Minister Otafiire to address the allegations surrounding the prison relocation.

She highlighted the importance of transparency and adherence to due process in such matters, stressing that while the decision to relocate the prison may be warranted, the procedural aspects are of paramount concern.

In a heated exchange, MP Mwatekamwa Gaffa raised objections to Minister Otafiire's involvement in convening consultative meetings, citing his reputation as a land grabber. Speaker Among reiterated the need for such concerns to be raised when Minister Otafiire is present in the House, urging MPs to adhere to parliamentary protocol.

Echoing the sentiments, Gaffa expressed frustration over the lack of clarity regarding the prison relocation, particularly in light of widespread social media speculation.

He emphasised that Minister Otafiire's reputation as a land grabber further compounds the need for transparency in the process.

Regarding leaked documents, Speaker Among cautioned MPs about the legal implications of disclosing official documents.

However, MP Gaffa defended his actions, arguing that the letter was already in the public domain and therefore warranted discussion in Parliament.

Meanwhile, plans are underway to find land for a new prison to replace Luzira Maximum Prison, which is expected to be transformed into a luxurious 5-star hotel. A leaked letter from President Museveni to Minister Otafiire, dated July 2022, confirms the development.

The letter outlines proposals from Tian Tang Group, a Chinese investment agency, to redevelop the prison into a five-star hotel with a state-of-the-art conference centre.

Prisons spokesperson, Frank Baine, confirmed the ongoing discussions at the ministerial level, stating that Uganda Prisons is not yet directly involved in the matter.

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