Delayed Release of Funds Cripples Remand Home Operations

1459 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Patricia Mugisa, the Matron Fort Portal remand home, says they have run out of food to feed the minors and are forced to seek assistance from residents neighboring the home, who contribute money to buy some food.

Delays by the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry to provide funds for Fort Portal remand home have crippled its operations. Fort Portal remand home serves as a regional remand center for delinquent children from Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Kyegegwa, Ntoroko and Bundibugyo districts. 


 
However since August last year, the home has not received funds, which has crippled its operations. Fort Portal remand home has thirty inmates, three of whom three are girls. The home receives 10 Million Shillings each quarter from the Gender, Labor and Social Development Ministry.
 

Patricia Mugisa, the Matron Fort Portal remand home, says they have run out of food to feed the minors and are forced to seek assistance from residents neighboring the home, who contribute money to buy some food. 




She explains that on some days the inmates are fed on only porridge. Mugisa says that some of the income generating projects such as handcrafts, brick making, tailoring and poultry that used to contribute some money for the home were halted.
 

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Francis Akugizibwe, the administrative secretary of Fort Portal remand home, says they need more than 20 Million Shillings to facilitate court and police sessions, service vehicles, feed and provide medication for the inmates. He explains that currently, the home also lacks funds to pay utilities like water and electricity.

 
In a telephone interview, James Kaboggoza Sembatya, the Assistant Commissioner for Children Affairs in the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, admitted the late release of funds. He however blames the mess on the leadership of the remand home for failing to account for funds for the past two quarters, a claim Akugizibwe denies.  
 
 

Kaboggoza also says the funding of the remand home, shouldn't be left to the ministry alone. He says local governments in the region are supposed to fund the operations of the home jointly. Shamillah Kakunguru, the Kabarole District Probation Officer, says that given the limited resources, the remand home is unable to provide the inmates with their basic needs.
 
 
She explains that each of the districts in the region is supposed to contribute at least 1.5 Million Shillings on quarterly basis to facilitate the operation of the home. According to Kakunguru, the money will be enough to facilitate the remand home with fuel, food and pay for utilities.
 
 
Beatrice Bamwine, a Child Protection Officer with NGO Tooro Child Rights Development Organization, says t they have written to the Chief Administrative Officers to provide funds for the home.
 

According to a study, "Juvenile Detention in Uganda", conducted by the African Prisons Project last year, children in all the remand homes in the country live in deplorable conditions. There are six remand homes in the country spread in Masindi, Mbale, Gulu, Kampala, Fort Portal, and Arua.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.