MPs Raise Concern About Use of ‘Bucket Toilets’ in Prisons

MPs visiting inmates in Mbarara on Thursday

Parliamentary committee on defense and internal affairs has blamed prison officials on poor health conditions in Mbarara central government prison where inmates still use buckets at night for nature calls.

While checking on the inmates in Mbarara central prison on Thursday, remedy MPs led by Judith Nabakoba, the chairperson of defense and internal affairs committee were surprised to find that Prisons have failed to phase out bucket system among inmates.

The MPs blamed the prison officials for allowing the use of buckets for nature calls saying it exposes inmates to a big risk of contracting diseases.

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“The issue of buckets for inmates to use at night was to be eliminated starting with this year but now we are surprised that it still exists; why” Nabakowa wondered.

Ms Nabakowa asked Prison officials to improvise and stop mixing patients in their sick bays because it is a poor health hazard like mixing up TB patients and other patients of simple illnesses.

She noted that plea-bargain exercise that the principal Judge
Yorokam Bamwine has been introducing in prisons all over the country has failed to reduce congestion in prisons since most of the inmates are forced to plead guilty on offences they don’t commit.

“Bamwine should revise on how the plea bargain exercise must be handled by
judges; its main objectives were to reduce congestion and government expenditure but no results yet yielded in the program” she said.

Sheema woman MP Jacklet Atuhaire said prison officials should separate inmates suffering from Hepatitis B and TB from the rest of the inmates since they can be contracted easily.

Jacklet further urged officials to retransfer inmates who were remanded to Mbarara central prison on health terms should be referred back to their original prisons since the process has denied them justice.


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