Prisons Service Van Altered with Wielded Wire Guards

2734 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
A barricade has been assembled between the driver, the co-drivers seat and the rest of the car. The inbuilt barrier blocks any form of contact between the occupants of the van and the driver except the commander.

The Uganda Prison Service van that is used to transport high profile suspects to court has been altered. The van, registration number UG 0214U now has chains, wielded wire guards and one other door.

A barricade has been assembled between the driver, the co-driver's seat and the rest of the car. The inbuilt barrier blocks any form of contact between the occupants of the van and the driver except the commander.

The van is now used to transport former presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye from Luzira Prison to the different courts where he has been appearing lately, on various charges. He is the first high profile suspect to be transported in the altered van.

But FDC Deputy Secretary General Harold Kaija says the way the vehicle has been modified is inhumane and degrading. He says the cage within the van is identical to cages used for transporting chicken or even wildlife.  He says such an arrangement is not healthy and security risk to occupants of the van.

He appealed to the prison authorities to consider removing the illegally modified materials in the vehicle so that the occupants feel safe.

However, Uganda prison service spokesperson Frank Baine, says the modification of the van is not targeted at Dr Kizza Besigye alone.  He says the van was altered to protect both suspects and prison staff in case some violent suspects attempts to escape while being transported.
 
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Florence Munyirwa, the Public Affairs Manager at Uganda Human rights Commission says the development will be investigated.

 

About the author

Ronald Batre
Ronald Batre is so passionate about journalism that he did not wait to finish school before he started his career. This is how he started with Radio Paidha, The West Niler, Daily Monitor newspapers and later with Radio Pacis as Assistant News Editor.

To be allowed to practice his passion, Batre had struck a deal with his parents. He would complete his education. He kept his word and went through school while suporting himself with his journalism.

Entering the workplace so young attuned Batre to the plight of the youth and those who seek employment. Apart from that, he is interested in reporting about politics, local government, business and the environment. A witness to some of the destructive impact of the Lord's Resistance Army rebellion in northern Uganda, Batre is interested in reporting about peace building efforts too.

Uganda Radio Network's former Gulu bureau chief, Batre is now based in Kampala. He is URN's main politics correspondent. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.