Students Take on MPs in Mock Debate

1828 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Abaasi Luyombo, a student from Iganga Secondary School asked government to address corruption in the Prison services system that has led to terrible conditions in prisons.

Students have asked government during a mock debate in parliament not to run away from its responsibility of looking after prison facilities across the country.
 
 
It came after parliamentarians made a case for privatizing the Prison facilities under the motion 'Prisons should be privatized, saying it would enable inmates to enjoy the much needed human rights. 
 
Contributing to the motion, Mwine Mpaka, the Western Youth MP, argued that privatizing prison facilities, would free up much needed resources for other sectors like education and health. He also decried the alarming rate of congestion in prisons.                              



"There is congestion in prisons, which affects the health and violates the rights of inmates," he argued. Beatrice Anywar, the Kitgum Municipality MP, argued that considering that Prison facilities are meant for rehabilitation, private players are better positioned to take on the role.



 
Adding that, "Private operators will give better services." Herbert Ariko, the Soroti Municipality MP, argued that privately run prisons would better help inmates integrate into society at the end of their sentences.
 

//Cue in: "because as...
Cue out:...enforced."//
 
However, students vehemently opposed the motion to privatize prisons, arguing that government would be running away from its mandate of keeping away criminals from the public in preference for profits.
 

"Government has the mandate to look after prisons and prisoners under the Internal Affairs ministry. Government should not run away from its mandate," said Bary Ainomugisha, a student from Kitovu Secondary School.
 
 
He also argued that there is no guarantee that private players have the capacity to keep terrorists and hardcore criminals in jail.
 
 
 
Ainomugisha also argued that it is risky to mandate private entities to fight crime and instead urged government to address the issues fueling crime in the country. 



Abaasi Luyombo, a student from Iganga Secondary School asked government to address corruption in the Prison services system that has led to terrible conditions in prisons.
 
 
The mock debate that drew students from selected secondary schools was organized by the National Debate Council in conjunction with the Parliament of Uganda. It came ahead of the finals of the 7th National Schools Debate Championship between Mengo Senior School and Mbarara High School that was also held at Parliament on Wednesday.
 

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.