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Ugandans Imprisoned in Mauritius Return Home

The minister of Justice and Constitutonal Affairs, Hon. Kahinda Otafiire (PHOTO: JLOS) The minister of Justice and Constitutonal Affairs, Hon. Kahinda Otafiire (PHOTO: JLOS)

 

The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional and other state agencies in May and June 2015 successfully negotiated and facilitated the transfer of Ugandan prisoners serving sentences in the Republic of Mauritius. The prisoners were transferred to Uganda to serve the remaining part of their sentences in accordance with the bilateral agreement between GoU and the Mauritius government on transfer of convicted offenders.

According to Mr. Farouq Lubega, a Senior State Attorney in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs privy to this extradition process, the transfer of these prisoners was triggered by a petition from their relatives to Hon. Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs. The prisoners in question are Miriam Mpopoya (sentenced to 25 years in 2008 on charges of importation of heroin and assault of a public functionary); Mr. Fred Asiimwe Kato (sentenced to penal servitude for life in 1998); Mr. James Mukasa Kanamwanje (sentenced to 25 years in 1998 for importation of heroin); Mr. Francis Igudo Tukei (sentenced for 19 years in 2008 for importation of heroin); and Ms. Ann Willus Kayiwa (sentenced for 25 years in 2008 for importation of heroin with averment of trafficking).

The Transfer of Convicted Offenders Act (2012) provided the legal basis for this transfer. This act assented to by the president on July 27 2012 makes provision for the mutual transfer of convicted offenders between Uganda and other Commonwealth countries for the purpose of serving their sentences of imprisonment. The act also provides for the conditions, treatment and other arrangements in respect of persons liable to be transferred.

A team of government of Uganda officials that included Mr. Farouq Lubega (Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affiars); Ms. Doreen Kazoora Asiimwe (Foreign Affairs); Mr. Edyadu Fauscents and Mr. Abio Rock Evans (Prisons Service) travelled to Mauritius in April 2015 to facilitate this transfer. The first group of transfered prisoners arrived in Uganda via Entebbe International Airport on May 2 2015 and was taken to Luzira Prison to serve the remaining part of their sentences. The second group of  (two) prisoners is expected to be transferred by the end of June 2015.

 

By Edgar Kuhimbisa \  Published: June 9, 2015.