Several legislators, artistes and lawyers have been denied access to see Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi at Luzira Prison.
Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Mukono Municipality Member of Parliament Betty Nambooze, Mityana Municipality’s Francis Zaake, Allan Ssewanyana and Kasibante Moses, were closed out of the prison facility by authorities on Tuesday.
According to reliable sources, the Uganda Prison Services authorities ordered for closure of the main gates in the afternoon yet the last day of the month is one designated for visiting inmates between 7am to 5pm.
According to Nambooze, when they reached the closed gates, a UPS officer asked them to ‘go back because they were not on the list of the expected guests’.
He advised them to get special clearance from the Commissioner General of Prisons, Dr Johnson Byabashaija.
Nambooze narrates that immediately after the humiliation, they rang to Byabashaija who later referred them to the Regional Prisons Commander whose name he didn’t mention.
This meant they took forever to trace him. After a while, they were directed to Jackson Kuyangana who identified himself as the Officer in Charge (OC) Special Safety Unit (SSU).
She said “The almighty Kuyangana arrogantly informed us that he was given orders not to allow anyone to access Prisoner Kyagulanyi because for his own safety. Imagine today is a visiting day for all inmates but it doesn’t matter to these officers yet other prisoners are receiving their guests.”
On Monday, Kyagulanyi commonly known as Bobi Wine was remanded to Luzira prison by Buganda Road Court grade one Magistrate Esther Nahirya on charges of staging an unlawful protest. He is expected back in court on Thursday this week.
Statement by Hon. Francis Zaake after being denied a chance to visit Hon Kyagulanyi Robert Sentamu at Luzira Prison.
Today, we decided to pay a courtesy call to the Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi alias H.E Bobi Wine at what I do soberly regard as a second home for all those that fight dictatorships.
In the company of men and women of great valor from all walks of life, the Parliament, the music industry, the media fraternity, the lawyers, and friends of Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi.
On approaching the gate, we were told by one Kuyangana Jackson that we could not visit the prisoner unless authenticated by the Commissioner General.
In our minds, we questioned the law that provides for such an arrangement given the fact that today was a visitation day for prisoners.
Nevertheless, we contacted the Commissioner General who actually disclosed to us that he was in Agago at the time of our call implying in effect that he could not be of help. He referred us to commissioner Mwanje who subsequently referred us to the Regional Prisons commander whose name we did not ascertain and the referencing went on incessantly.
This practically made it impossible for us to visit H.E Bobi Wine.
His right to receive visitors as a prisoner has been infringed on by an establishment that we thought still maintained some level of sanity while executing their duties.
While other prisoners received visitors today, our very own, Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi was denied the opportunity.
That said, there is one peculiar thing noticed – panic; the fear of the unknown. The pressure under which they act indeed demonstrates to all and sundry that, this time they are attempting to contain an elephant but with a rabbit cage.
The demonstrations by the general public in most parts of Kampala points to the very fact that the prisoner in their custody is stronger than what their capacity can contain.
To the general public, let us continue demonstrating peacefully, it is our right as provided for under article 29(1)d of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda.
We shall demonstrate in Kampala, we shall demonstrate in Universities, we shall demonstrate in market places, in offices, on the floor of Parliament, in the taxi parks, and all over the Country and in diaspora but peacefully, until HE. Bobi Wine’s freedom is granted him.
From Hon Zake Francis Mityana municipality