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“Repurpose prime prison land” – Byabashaija

“Repurpose prime prison land” – Byabashaija

Uganda prisons Commissioner General advocates for relocation of Luzira Prison for economic development (Courtesy photo)

Johnson Byabashaija, the Commissioner General of Uganda Prisons, has thrown his weight behind the proposal for the relocation of Luzira Prison.

Byabashaija emphasized that utilizing the prime land occupied by the prison for job-creating projects would be more beneficial than maintaining its current function of housing inmates.

Speaking before Parliament’s Human Rights Committee during their scrutiny of the State of Human Rights in Uganda Prisons report, Byabashaija highlighted the historical context of Luzira Prison. Originally constructed outside of Kampala, Luzira Prison was established between 1921 and 1927. However, due to urban expansion, the prison now finds itself situated in the heart of the city, surrounded by industries. Byabashaija argued that the prison’s location is no longer suitable for its intended purpose as a maximum-security facility.

Expressing support for the proposed relocation, Byabashaija asserted, “This is something we should have done 20 years ago.” He stressed that the land occupied by Luzira Prison holds significant potential for economic growth and employment opportunities. By repurposing the site, Uganda could provide a platform for its youth to thrive in gainful employment.

The debate over the fate of Luzira Prison was further intensified by inquiries from Polycarp Ogwari, the representative of Agule County. Ogwari sought clarification from Prisons officials regarding the government’s latest plans to relocate Luzira Prison, making way for the construction of a five-star hotel by Chinese investors.

The proposal to relocate Luzira Prison underscores the intersection of criminal justice, urban planning, and economic development in Uganda. While proponents argue for the utilization of prime land for job creation, critics raise concerns about the potential implications for the penal system and the welfare of inmates.

The discourse surrounding Luzira Prison’s relocation is indicative of broader discussions on the optimal use of land resources to foster sustainable development and address societal challenges.

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