By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
Uganda Prison authorities confirmed they had captured 9 escapees, 3 were shot dead as hunting for other 207 escapees is still on in all places around Mt.Moroto and the Kenya Uganda Borderline.
Mr.Frank Baine told The Homeland Newspaper that, after the incident, a joint force has been put in place to hunt for the fugitives and so far they had recaptured 9, killed three and that the pursuit for more 207 still on.
“The Uganda prison service with sister forces have launched a thunderous manhunt to look for more 207 prisoners who escaped from a government facility in Moroto after stealing weapons, fled into a mountain and remote wilderness in the area”.Baine said.
Frank Baine confirmed the incident and said that the prison break occurred on Wednesday 16th September 2020 near the army barracks in the district of Moroto in Northeast Uganda.
Baine said that the Prisoners overpowered the warden who was on duty, before fleeing, they broke into the prison armory and stole 14 AK-47 rifles, 20 magazines, and other ammunition.
“It was a mass escape … all these were hard-core criminals whom we had arrested from various parts of Karamoja and the knowledge of a gun,” Baine said, adding they included murderers, robbers, and rapists.
Baine said the 207 prisoners who on Wednesday escaped from Moroto Government prison, were COVID-19 contacts who were waiting for their results.
“It’s true we had a breakout in our Moroto facility on a Wednesday night, inmates escaped with government guns, we have recaptured 9 of them alive. whereas 3 have been shot dead, the hunt continues, the incident is regrettable and those who escaped are Covid-19 suspects who were waiting for their results”Said, Baine
Baine said that two security personnel, a prison warder and a policeman have been shot and injured as they hunted for over 207 prisoners who stole guns from the prison armory and escaped from Moroto Government Prison on still at large.
Frank Baine further said that a joint team of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) and the Uganda Police Force joined the Uganda Prison Services in the hunt for the armed prisoners.
Frank Baine said that the prisoners took off their clothes to avoid being spotted in their distinctive yellow uniforms and ran into the foothills of Mount Moroto, an underpopulated area that is wilderness and with guns in the bush in Karamoja that is their homeland”.
Last week, Moroto Government Prison was closed to new inmates after 30 inmates tested positive to Covid-19. All the 30 were evacuated to Jinja isolation center for treatment while over 200 other inmates were placed under quarantine.
The Homeland Newspaper has learned that in Uganda at least three cases of the coronavirus have been reported in jails. The country has confirmed 5,266 infections to date and 60 related deaths.
The total number of inmates in Uganda rose 10 percent to 65,000 in the five months to August, according to the prisons service, a surge attributed to a large number of people apprehended for violations of various anti-coronavirus measures such as curfews and travel restrictions.
Moroto prison is located in the Karamoja region, a mountainous area on Uganda’s border with Kenya, also a mineral-rich region where both wildcat and large-scale miners dig for a range of minerals and metals including gold.