Inmate shot while escaping from Jinja Court dies

The inmates that had escaped at Jinja Court on February 15, 2024. PHOTO/TAUSI NAKATO

What you need to know:

  • Several cases of inmates escaping or trying to escape from prisons in Uganda have been registered.

An inmate who was shot as he attempted to escape from Jinja Court cells has succumbed to his gunshot wounds at Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, Uganda Prisons has said.

The Prisons spokesperson, Mr Frank Baine identified the deceased as 27-year-old Abel Muwanika, alias Abusale.
“The inmate succumbed to injuries after being taken to the Jinja regional referral hospital. We identified the relatives of the deceased, and they have already taken his body for burial,” he said. 

Last Thursday, Jinja court sessions were paralysed as prison warders fired several bullets at Muwanika and one Ashraf Ssenoga, alias Vampire, 25--- both charged with aggravated robbery--- after they allegedly attempted to escape while being led to the suspects’ court holding cells.
The duo had just been denied bail by Jinja Grade One Magistrate, Ms Anxious Atumanya.

Mr Baine said the second escapee (Ssenoga), who sustained minor injuries to his leg, is still undergoing treatment at Kirinya prison's sickbay, but after recovery, he will be charged with attempted escape.
Muwanika sustained a gunshot wound to his mouth as he tried to take cover, according to prison authorities.

“The inmates were running openly in handcuffs. The officer in the central guard fired warning bullets to stop them in vain; and in an attempt to disable them, Ssenoga was shot in the leg while Muwanika sustained a gunshot wound to the mouth,’’ Mr Baine said.
He further warned inmates against “unnecessary misconduct”, including attempting to escape from lawful custody.

Several cases of inmates escaping or trying to escape from prisons in Uganda have been registered.
On September 16, 2020, at least 223 inmates escaped from Moroto Prison in the restive north-eastern Karamoja Sub Region after attacking the prison wardens and stealing guns and ammunition from the armory.
During the hunt for the prisoners, 12 were shot dead.
In December 2023, three inmates escaped from Mityna government prison.

In 2016, six inmates escaped from Malukhu Prison in Mbale City. 
In 2018, another also escaped and in 2019, six also took off. Between 2020 and 2022, 12 cases of prisoner escape were registered.