Prisons chocking on debts as remanded inmates rise

By Moses Kyeyune.

The Uganda Prison Services is choking with over Shillings 65 billion in utility debts due to increasing numbers of remanded inmates.

According to the Auditor General’s report for the Financial Year ending December 2016, Uganda prisons was nursing unpaid debts amounting close to 50 billion Shillings only on utilities.

Food Bills topped the list with 30 billion shillings followed by electricity with 8.7 billion shillings, while water Bills came third at 7.1 billion shillings, and staff uniforms with 3.1 billion shillings.

The Auditor General John Muwanga noted that, the entity risks losing business with the service providers and could be sued for non-payment with chances of penalties that may include interest on unpaid balances.

In his response, the prisons undersecretary Samuel Baker Emuku has blamed the burden on increase in prisoner population, which he said has a direct bearing on food, electricity and uniforms.

He told the Public Accounts Committee chaired by Soroti Woman MP Angeline Osege this after that the arrears have grown alongside the growing prisoners’ population, in the face of inadequate budget support.