The leadership of the Uganda Prisons Service is in talks with the Judiciary to allow them present high profile suspects before court with their handcuffs on to prevent them from escaping. Dr Johnson Byabashaija, the Commissioner General of Prisons, says they cannot afford to continue losing high-profile suspects.
Dr Johnson Byabashaija, the Commissioner General of Prisons, says they cannot afford to continue losing high-profile suspects.
The consideration follows a daring escape of two suspects--Musa Galiwango and Muhammad Kiddawalime--who fled from Masaka Chief Magistrate's courts where they had been taken for prosecution by the local prison warders. In early March, the two took advantage of a security lapse at the court premises and escaped.
While officiating at celebrations to mark the International Women's Day in Mityana district last month, President Yoweri Museveni rebuked the prisons authorities for what he described as giving undue privileges and freedoms to dangerous prisoners to the extent that they can even have room to escape.
Museveni wondered why suspects answering grievous offenses such as murder, terrorism, aggravated rape among others are released from their handcuffs while appearing before courts for prosecution.
Dr Byabashaija now confirms that they are reviewing their guidelines to effect the president's preference of keeping the high profile suspects on handcuffs as a means of ensuring that they are safe and cannot escape.
He acknowledges that while their consideration is in violation of the laws of administration of justice and other international standards, they cannot afford losing more suspects.
According to him, the approach will not universally be applied to all other suspects in court but strictly to those with high criminal profile records that are also on suspicions of running away.
Byabashaija is in Masaka district coordinating a series of meetings with local security heads to review their strategies towards arresting the remaining fugitive who is still on the run. He evealed that they are already in talks with the judiciary to embrace the decision.
Meanwhile, Dr Byabashaija explains that he was in the area to coordinate strategies towards re-arresting Musa Ggaliwango, a prime suspect in the several murders and robberies that occurred in greater Masaka sub region.
Dr Byabashaija says following the Tuesday incident in which Ggaliwango's accomplice Muhammad Kiddawalime was lynched in another robbery, they have resolved to heighten their pursuit towards finding the remaining fugitive who also allegedly appeared on the same crime scene, as well as clearly analysing circumstances under which they managed to escape.
Lafit Zaake, the greater Masaka Regional Police Commander, confirms that their teams are currently combing up various villages in search for Ggaliwango who managed to escape on Tuesday.
He says their analysis suggests the suspect is still within the region which increases their chances of apprehending him.