MPs support government’s proposal to privatise of prisons

Inmates at Uganda's maximum prison in Luzira.

Inmates at Uganda’s maximum prison in Luzira.

Members of Parliament  have thrown their weight behind the  privatization of   state prisons by  government saying this will enable prisoners enjoy their human rights fully without hindrances.

The legislators’ approval of the plan comes in the wake of a government proposal seek to privatize all  state prisons in order to improve on the welfare of inmates.

MPs while making there contributions during a mock debate with the students of selected schools around Kampala said the proposal will help government improve on the economy through better utilisation of the inmate’s labour.

Soroti municipality MP, Herbert Ariko ,Female national MP, Anna Adeke ,Kitgum municipality MP, Beatrice Anywar ,Western region youth MP, Mwine Mpaka all agreed that privatising the prisons was the best option that would better ensure that resources are used optimally.

The mock debate between MPs and students from the secondary schools, was organized by the National Debate Council in conjunction with the Parliament of Uganda, and was held in the Parliamentary Chambers.

Mpaka said privatizing prisons would free up much needed resources for other sectors like education and health.

Kitgum Municipality MP Beatrice Anywar.

Kitgum Municipality MP Beatrice Anywar.

Anywar said that considering that prisons are meant for rehabilitation, private players would be better positioned to take on the role. She also said that innocent children were being incarcerated together with their mothers.

Ariko said privately run prisons would better help inmates integrate into society at the end of their sentences.

Students however rejected the initiative, arguing that in doing so, government was running away from its mandate of keeping criminals out of the public eye in favour of profits. They disagreed with the proposal that prisoners need to enjoy the rights and luxuries that would be provided by private operators.

Students argued that fighting crime was so risky to be put in private hands and argued that government rather addresses the issues leading to increased crime in the country.

The students asked Government to address corruption in the system that has led to terrible conditions in prisons.

Mengo SS won the 7th National Schools Debate Championship and Mbarara High School become runners up.

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