Members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of parliament are calling for a thorough investigation of Prison Officer’s and Commissioner’s for subjecting prisoners to casual labor on their farms with no pay.
This came up during the appearance of Prisons Officers led by Prisons under Secretary Simon Kimono before the committee to answer to audit queries in auditor general’s report of 2010/2011.
The officials struggled to explain why prisoners are subjected to casual labor outside prisons’ farms yet they are not rewarded for their work.
This after MP Eddie Kwizera, the acting lead counsel of PAC demanded to know how much money prisoners earn from their work and how much goes to the prisons department saying that it is well known that prisoners are subjected to work on farms in villages and on prison officials farms.
Kimono said that the Commissioner General instructed in a circular that a record of all earnings by prisoners out of farm work be kept which is 2,500 Shs per prisoner on a worked day and the money be given to prisoners to carter for their basic needs such as toiletries, sugar and others which are not usually provided in prisons.
However, the committee established that prisoners are not aware of what they are supposed to earn and Kimono was betrayed by a self confessed commissioner Rwigyiama who told MPs that he has ever used prisoners on his farm but that he had paid them.
In his defense, Kimono told the committee that he cannot keep over 800 prisoner’s idle saying that it could be a source of insecurity if they are not occupied with work.
Arua Woman MP Bako Christine says that all prisons officers should be investigated for subjecting prisoners to labor on their farms and at the same time giving them one meal a day which she said is inhumane.