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Uganda Prisons Service and Police Launch Manhunt for 201 Fugitive Prisoners


The other day it was Luzira Prison, then Lubowa Hospital

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The Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) and the Police have commenced a comprehensive search across the country for a total of 201 inmates who absconded from various prison facilities between January and September last year.

According to reports, a staggering 337 inmates managed to escape from 169 prison stations during the nine-month period, with 136 of them subsequently recaptured.

Frank Baine, the UPS spokesperson, emphasized the ongoing commitment to tracking down the escaped prisoners. “We can never stop; we will look for them,” stated Baine when questioned about the continued pursuit efforts.

Addressing concerns about security lapses, Baine clarified, “It is not about security, and it’s not indicative of laxity on our part. Escapes are an inherent part of prison life, akin to the inevitability of some patient fatalities even with the best medical care.”

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Notably, Namalu, Alebtong, Sheema, and Ragem reported the highest number of escapees, as documented in the September 2023 UPS report on prisoner population and staffing status. Among these stations, recapture rates varied significantly, with some locations experiencing limited success in apprehending escaped inmates.

As of the latest update, Ragem had yet to capture any of the seven escapees, while other stations like Orom-Tikau, Oyam (M), and Yumbe faced similar challenges in tracking down fugitives. Meanwhile, Mubuku, Mutukula, and Otuke each reported five escapees, with varying success rates in recapture efforts.

Analyzing the regional distribution of escapes, the mid-northern region recorded the highest number, with 45 reported cases. However, the escape rate per 1,000 prisoners was highest in the Kooki region, standing at 20.0 per 1,000 prisoners, while the Kampala Extra region exhibited the lowest rate at 0.2 per 1,000 prisoners, according to the report.

The overall escape rate across the nine-month period was calculated at 4.5 per 1,000 prisoners, with September 2023 alone witnessing 44 escapes from lawful custody, reflecting an escape rate of 0.6 per 1,000 prisoners.

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