The National Prisons Service (NPS) is set to undergo several changes to conform with the 2020 infrastructure plan, according to the Minister of Internal Security.
In an interview yesterday, Minister Musa Fazil Harerimana said that the plan will see the reduction of central prisons from the current 14 down to seven.
“We have in place an infrastructural plan of vision 2020 that we are going by, and this includes reducing the number of prisons,” said Harerimana.
He added that the plan will see prisons moved from cities and towns as a way of improving productivity of the inmates.
In an interview with The New Times, the Director of Prisons Mary Gahonzire also noted that they are relocating the prisons as a way of revamping the service and as well as setting a roadmap towards self-sustainability.
“We want to reach a time when the service will not be depending on the central government’s budget,” she said.
She however added that some of the current facilities are run-down.
“Some of these prisons were built way back in the colonial times and we have to put in place decent prisons with better facilities,” she added.
The officials gave an example of the Kigali Central Prison, which is currently located in downtown Kigali and was built in 1930.
This prison, according to Harerimana, will be relocated to Butamwa, the rural part of Nyarugenge district in Kigali city, and the current land on which it sits will be given away to real estate developers.
The two senior officials said during separate interviews, that several prison facilities are currently under construction while others would soon be built.
Other prisons in line for relocation include the Gisenyi and Ruhengeri Prisons in the Western and Northern Provinces respectively.
According to Gahonzire, inmates from the two facilities will be transferred at a facility to be set up in Gakombe.
Meanwhile, the prisons boss said that plans are underway to construct a facility in Nyagatare in the Eastern Province that will exclusively cater for juveniles, saying that eventually they will also have an exclusive correctional centre for women.