Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) has revealed that prisoners will not participate in the general elections scheduled for Thursday January 14, 2021.
The High Court in Kampala had, in June 2020, passed judgment allowing Ugandans in the Diaspora and prisoners, to be involved in the voting of their leaders during general elections.
The decision by Justice Lydia Mugambe would end the 25 year ban on the voting rights of prisoners and Ugandans in the Diaspora.
However, the Electoral Commission (EC) would later consent to consider prisoners and Ugandans in diaspora to vote in 2026 and not the closing in 2021 elections that now are a day away.
The Electoral Commission argued that it was practically impossible to have the mentioned groups vote in the 2021 polls since the voters’ register was already closed.
Speaking to press at Uganda Police Force (UPF) headquarters in Naguru on Tuesday, UPS Spokesperson Frank Baine reiterated that prisoners will not take part in the voting exercise according to the Electoral Commission roadmap.
“The rumors that prisoners have already voted is wrong, let no body deceive the world that prisoners are participating in the election,” he said.
Baine added that UPS will also deploy security to help enforce law and order during the elections.
“UPS has space to keep all those intending to participate in activities that violate the law,” he said.
Meanwhile, he revealed that prisons service has so far registered one COVID-19 death.
“We have unfortunately lost 1 person to Covid-19, we have 118 active cases in the centres of Mbarara, Jinja and Gulu, the treatment centres for prisons” he said.
Baine further cautioned Ugandans to disregard any violence inciting messages.
“Like yesterday, someone hacked into the Twitter handle of the Commissioner General and started announcing the death of one prisoner by the names Sserunkuma which was very false, that prisoner is in our custody and safe,” Baine added.