By Markson Omagor
18 prisoners who escaped from Singila Prison in Moroto district on the 16th of September 2020 have so far been captured while 12 have been killed in cross fire.
This was revealed yesterday Wednesday 30th September by the Prisons Spokesperson, Frank Baine while addressing the media at Uganda Media Center.
Baine also revealed that none of the 15 guns stolen by the escapees has been recovered. In the same vein, he reiterated the Prison’s Service intent to capture all the escapees and recover the stolen guns.
“Our bounty of Shs500, 000 per escapee captured and Shs1, 500,000 per gun recovered still stands,” he said.
Among the escapees, 57 had tested positive and are therefore spreading the deadly virus in the communities hosting them. This is alarming the Ministry of Health as well since the location of these fugitives is unknown and so are their contacts.
In essence 191 escapees are still at large.
On the day of escape, 219 inmates escaped from Sigila prison in Moroto municipality. The escapees also broke into the armory and ran away with 14 guns.
Three of the escapees were killed and seven rearrested. One UPDF soldier was also killed in the fire exchange.
Carlos Odongo, a boda boda cyclist in Moroto who witnessed the incident says the escape of the prisoners was preceded by the unusual appearance of armed warriors behind the prison gates along Circular road. Odongo says he had gone to pick one of his clients in Singila when he saw a group of men carrying guns and arrows.
He explains that a few minutes later, they heard sounds of bullets and saw hundreds of the inmates emerging out of the prison following the same route that was used by the warriors.
Odongo also revealed that the first group of security personnel who included six UPDF soldiers and one policeman tried to confront the escapees in vain. He adds that when more soldiers and policemen arrived at the scene about 30 minutes after the break, many of the escapees had already climbed the Mountain Moroto.
Baine also revealed that Prisons across the country are being hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“To date, 701 Covid cases have been registered in various Prisons across the country with 437 recoveries. The numbers are growing because we continue receiving suspects from the community,” he said.