Regional prisons to collaborate

KAMPALA - Officials from the Prison services of Rwanda and Uganda yesterday held a meeting that is likely to lead into signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The Commissioner General of the National Prisons Service, Mary Gahonzire, and her Ugandan counterpart Dr. Johnson Byabashaija said the agreement would seek to strengthen areas of cooperation.
Mary Gahonzire addressing the press while Dr. Byabashaija looks on yesterday at Uganda Prison Headquarters, Kampala (Photo; E. Kabeera)
Mary Gahonzire addressing the press while Dr. Byabashaija looks on yesterday at Uganda Prison Headquarters, Kampala (Photo; E. Kabeera)

KAMPALA - Officials from the Prison services of Rwanda and Uganda yesterday held a meeting that is likely to lead into signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The Commissioner General of the National Prisons Service, Mary Gahonzire, and her Ugandan counterpart Dr. Johnson Byabashaija said the agreement would seek to strengthen areas of cooperation.

“We hope that we shall sign the MoU because that is a directive of the 8th session of the Joint Permanent Commission,” both officials told reporters yesterday in Kampala.

Gahonzire said that the draft MoU will be given to technicians from both countries for scrutiny and review since the first draft was made four years ago.

“We can finally endorse it before it is forwarded to relevant authorities for signing,” she said. Both countries were upbeat that they would set up a joint committee to speed up and monitor the implementation of the MoU.

Byabashaija said that during his last visit to Rwanda, he learnt many lessons, especially on how to accommodate prisoners, adding that Uganda would also offer new lessons to Rwanda.

“I learnt that I can comfortably hold even a hundred thousand prisoners. If you brought them today, I can handle them because I leant a very good lesson from Rwanda,” he said.

Both officials said that they are still facing a challenge of having congested prisons due to infrastructure.

They added that all partner states of the East African Community (EAC) were now in a stage of transforming their prisons from penal to correctional services.

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