It could come as a shock to some but it is the truth, or at least according to Uganda prisons officials, that Ugandan Prisoners earn some money when they complete their sentenses.
Unfortunately perhaps, for many of them the pay is shamefully low to the point it cannot even buy a chapati. And for others, this is simply not true.
Nevertheless, the government has decided to improve the allowances of prisoners’ just a little bit.
According to Uganda Prisons Spokesperson Frank Baine, the Minister of Internal Affairs Jeje Odong has signed a statutory instrument to boost the pay of prisoners.
“As we all know, previously prisoners were earning UGX 500 per day worked for a skilled employee, UGX 250 for the semi-skilled and UGX 100 for the unskilled,” Baine said
But following the changes, skilled prisoners will start to earn UGX 1398 per day worked and UGX 699 for the semi- skilled while the unskilled Prisoners will be earning UGX 280 per day.
“Most people have been asking us about the under pay of prisoners, now you all know that it is the government that determines the prisoners pay scheme in accordance to the law,” he said.
Baine says that in order to ensure discipline and reduce administrative burdens, the money is given to the prisoners in a lump sum when they complete their sentences.
One former prisoner, names withheld, has told The Sunrise that he is unaware of anything like pay for prisoners.
“What I am familiar with is that toward the end of one term, they are given gardens to cultivate, and when they harvest, the money they sell is kept by the authorities and given to you when you’re leaving,
The prusoner we spoke to, who spent over 10 years at Kigo prisons, says that what he knows is that some prisoners are allowed, towards the end of their jail term to cultivate some vegetables, which they sell to traders who come to prisons to purchase from them.
Prisons postpones recruitment
In a related incident, the prisons authorities have postponed the earlier scheduled recruitment exercise for warders.
Baine said: “The recruitment was supposed to start on 16th to 21st November but we shall later communicate the new date in which it shall be conducted,” he added
He further cautioned the public to observe the standard operating procedures due to the increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.
“Continue washing hands at all times and observe the SOPs as directed the Ministry of Health,” Baine cautioned