The Uganda Prisons Service authority has issued tight security directives ahead of the festive season. The directives will also cover the one-month World Cup tournament period in Qatar.
In a message sent out to all prison units around the country on Monday, November 21st, 2022, by the Commissioner General of Uganda Prisons Service, Dr. Johnson Byabashaija, all prison commanders are urgently required to tighten personnel deployment and operations.
The security directives are set to tighten security before, during, and after the Christmas festivities and the World Cup football tournament, which commenced on November 20, 2022, and its excitement, which may result in a prisoner’s escape.
The directives are also meant to halt the rampant attacks on security personnel in different parts of the country, which have resulted in the loss of lives and guns.
“All prison staff must be on full alert; the safety and security of guns must be taken as top priorities; desist from lone deployments; and conduct night and day barracks and prison patrols,” the message reads.
The directives also include immediate security enhancement within Boma and sentries where prisoners may be watching football; staff must not report for duty with phones because they distract attention and interfere with the level of alertness, enhancing check-ups of all those entering or leaving the prison, and enhancing security of prisoners to and from courts, hospitals, or labor.
Dr Byabashaija further warned that anyone in charge who defies the directives will blame himself for the implications.
“Any officer in charge that breeches these directives shall be personally held responsible,” the statement read.
In November 2020, over 200 prisoners escaped from a government prison in Moroto, north-eastern Uganda, bringing the local town to a standstill while security forces tracked them down.
The scuffle claimed the life of a Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier, who was reportedly shot dead in the fire exchange.