Uganda Prisons Services Spokesperson Frank Baine has stated that the decision to transfer the State Minister for Labour and Industrial Development Mwesigwa Rukutana to Kitalya Maximum Security prison is a normal procedure as per prisons operations.
“If an inmate is of high profile, the Commissioner General of Prisons can order for his transfer. He is not the first inmate to be transferred to Kitalya, even Luttamaguzi was transferred from Nakaseke to Kitalya. It is normal business,” Baine said.
Addressing the press on Monday, Baine added the Commissioner General of Prisons has the mandate under the Prisons Act of 2006 to cause the transfer of an inmate to any prison around the country if he so wishes.
“Section 73 of the Prisons Act, 2006 says it is the discretion of the Commissioner General of Prisons to transfer an inmate from one prison to another due to safety, security, and medical reasons. It is the responsibility of the Commissioner General to determine when to move or not an inmate,” he added.
Baine also revealed that Kitalya Maximum Security Prison was earlier this year opened and set aside as an isolation centre for new inmates.
“The initial plan for the construction of Kitalya was to help decongest Luzira, especially for high profile inmates. The new facility is now used to keep new inmates. Also since the emergency of the COVID-19 pandemic, we try to separate new inmates from the old ones to avoid the transmission of the Virus,” Baine explained.
It was okay for the Minister, Baine further explained, to be transferred to Kitalya from Mbarara where he was first detained considering his profile and the nature of his case.
“When the situation goes back to normal, we can move him back to Luzira or other prisons around the country,” he noted.
Rukutana was last week transferred from Kyamugorani Prison in Mbarara and detained at Kitalya prison in Wakiso district. This raised mixed reactions among members of the public who questioned the transfer to a ‘high profile facility’ among other queries.