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Luzira Prison Relocation Needs Careful Consideration, Says Former Attorney General


Luzira Prison Relocation Needs Careful Consideration, Says Former Attorney General

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Former Attorney General, Fred Ruhindi, has expressed caution regarding the proposed relocation of Luzira Prison from Kampala to Buikwe district to make way for a five-star hotel and conference center. Ruhindi emphasized the gravity of relocating a prison, highlighting potential risks and consequences that must be carefully evaluated.

Ruhindi stressed the importance of thorough due diligence before finalizing any agreements with investors. He urged the government to ensure that investors are both serious and capable of executing the proposed project. Ruhindi cautioned against hastily trading off Luzira Prison land without proper assessment of the investors’ credibility and commitment.

Drawing from past experiences with stalled projects, such as the redevelopment of the Nakawa-Naguru estate, Ruhindi emphasized the need for serious scrutiny of the investors involved. He suggested that contractual obligations with clear benchmarks could ensure project delivery and prevent misuse of public land.

In addition to evaluating the seriousness of investors, Ruhindi proposed alternatives to outright land trade-offs. He suggested that the government should consider establishing necessary facilities in Buikwe, including courts and police stations, to support the relocation of prisoners effectively.

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Ruhindi also highlighted logistical challenges that may arise from relocating Luzira Prison, such as the timing of prisoner transportation to courts. He emphasized the importance of infrastructure development to mitigate inconvenience caused by the relocation.

The proposal to relocate Luzira Prison has been met with mixed opinions. Angelo Izama, a board member of Uganda Investment Authority, acknowledged the need to modernize and expand penitentiaries but cautioned against disregarding Luzira’s historical significance. Izama expressed confidence in the Uganda Prisons Service’s ability to deliver on the proposed relocation.

The Luzira Prison Complex, occupying over 400 acres, houses various facilities, including a staff college and training school. Internal Affairs Minister, Maj. Gen. (rtd) Kahinda Otafiire, emphasized the government’s longstanding desire to relocate Luzira Prison from the city center due to safety concerns.

President Yoweri Museveni has endorsed the proposal to redevelop Luzira Prison into a hotel and conference center, directing negotiations with Tian Tiang Group Limited. The President’s directive includes identifying suitable land for the prison’s relocation within Uganda.

Despite the endorsement, concerns persist regarding the transparency and accountability of the relocation plan. Parliament has demanded a detailed plan to ensure accountability and value for money in the proposed project.

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