Relocation of inmates to the newly constructed Mageragere prison will begin in February next year.
This was announced, yesterday, by the Minister for Justice, Johnston Busingye, during a visit to the construction site to assess the progress and readiness of the new facility.
Initially, the Government had set the relocation deadline for end of this year.
Upon full completion, the new facility will host inmates from both Kimironko and Nyarugenge Prison – also known as 1930. Combined, both prisons have 8,000 inmates.
The construction will be done in phases, whith final phase scheduled to be completed in 2018. However, Prisons officials assured the minister that by the end of the first quarter of next year, they will be ready for the first batch of inmates.
Prior to the first batch relocating, the sewage system and water has to be installed
“Our facility now can accommodate 3,000 prisoners, exclusive of women inmates, but this cannot be possible without water supply,” said George Rwigamba, commissioner-general of Rwanda Correctional Service.
Minister Busingye called on water utility, WASAC, to expedite the installation of water.
In an interview with The New Times, WASAC committed to have fixed water in time.
“Ground works have already started and we are laying pipes. Water will be running before February,” said Methode Rutagungira, director of urban water and sewerage services at WASAC.
So far, construction has cost at least Rwf2 billion, including the expropriation expenses and infrastructure works.
Sitting on 47 hectares of land, Mageragere is expected to house five blocks, including two male dormitories, a female block, kitchen, stores, a clinic and dispensaries as well as a maximum security block.
Only one block (for men), kitchen and stores have been completed.
Busingye asked that major works be completed by mid-next year. He tasked prisons officials to fast-track the relocation process and vacate at least the Nyarugenge prison.
“We want to leave the property downtown and avoid unnecessary delays,” Busingye said, adding that the land downtown can be redeveloped for more profitable ventures.
Rwigamba said by next year, RCS would have vacated both Nyarugenge and Kimironko prisons and the women can be temporarily relocated to other prisons.