President Yoweri Museveni has released at least 833 prisoners as the Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) moves to decongest correctional facilities and prevent the spread of Covid19.
Last week, an inmate at Kawuti Prison in the Eastern Uganda District of Namutumba tested positive for Covid19. Consequently, all the staff and the inmates at the facility were quarantined.
But even before the first Covid19 case was reported in prison, the process of the release of the prisoners had started.
Invoking his powers as provided for in the Constitution, Museveni approved the recommendation of the Uganda Prisons Service and the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy and issued an instrument of Pardon.
Article 121 of the Constitution stipulates the process for the Presidential Prerogative of Mercy.
The 833 include petty offenders whose sentences did not exceed two years and had served three quarters of the same, those aged 60 and above, and lactating mothers.
This was not the first time Museveni pardoned inmates. Years ago, the president forgave former Obote government minister Chris Rwakasisi who was on death row.
Some human rights organisations have since been using Rwakasisi to push for the official ban of the death sentence.
Meanwhile, Museveni directed chief jailer Johnson Byabashaija to work with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Directorate of Citizenship and Immigration Control to repatriate pardoned foreigners.
In his instrument of pardon, the president ordered: “The pardon of the foreign nationals is on condition that they are repatriated to their home countries upon release.”
Here is the list of those pardoned by the President: