Millions of dollars sought for Uganda’s starving prisoners

July 29th, 2008 - 9:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Kampala, July 29 (DPA) An estimated 34,000 inmates in Uganda’s prisons and remand centres may starve to death if the government does not quickly release an equivalent of about $10 million to buy them food, an independent newspaper reported Tuesday, quoting legislators. “With this budget line, we are going to see prisoners starving and others going naked without uniforms,” The Daily Monitor quoted a member of parliament Theodore Ssekikubo as telling a committee of parliament Monday.

“We cannot pretend that everything is fine when the government has under-looked feeding, medication and other facilities. Something urgent should be done to avoid this impending catastrophe,” the legislator said.

According to official figures, there are about 48,000 inmates in 220 overcrowded prisons in Uganda.

The cells were designed to accommodate a total of about 10,000 prisoners decades ago. But they are now clogged beyond capacity with inmates, most of whom are on remand with charges involving minor offences.

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