Uganda Prison Services is considering giving away Luzira prison land to an investor ready to construct a 10,000 capacity prison as a result of the failure by government to rehabilitate the existing facility.
Dr. Johnson Byabashaija, the commissioner general Uganda Prisons Services says they have repeatedly asked for money from government to renovate Luzira prison and improve the living conditions of inmates in vain.
Dr. Byabashaija believes building another prison elsewhere would be the only permanent solution for him to improve the conditions of Luzira, which is the largest prison facility in the country.
Last month, Dr. Byabashaija was in parliament where he re-iterated his wish to give away Luzira land to anybody who would build him a prison. Luzira is comprised of the upper prison, which houses capital offenders, Kampala remand Prison and Women prisons.
Luzira Upper prisons was built to accommodate 600 inmates but currently has 3200 inmates while Kampala remand prison with a capacity of 300 inmates has 1300 and Luzira women prison has 1750 inmates instead of 600 inmates.
Dr Byabashaija says the United Nations prisons standards require that every inmate occupies 3.6 square meters, which he says is impossible in Luzira prisons.
However, Uganda is struggling to implement the International Committee of the Red Cross congestion standards, which require each inmate to occupy two square meters.
Dr. Byabashaija says despite this, the prevailing prison population doesn’t allow him to implement this saying the only option is to give away Luzira prison land in exchange for a better facility. He describes as nonsense for someone to think the Uganda Prison Service wants to relocate Luzira prison because of its prime location.