Pablo – A Day in Luzira Upper Prison [analysis]

I was humbled to spend a day at Luzira upper prison during the Easter weekend.

The mere look at the heavily- deployed security and the high walls with an armed guard at the tower was enough to send cold chills down my spine. You feel life has come to a standstill the moment you go through and the heavy metallic doors close behind you.

Despite their courtesy, the prison wardens wouldn’t give room for any nuisance or nonsense. We had to leave all our belongings in some kind of safe custody before entering. I don’t know why they chose yellow for the inmates’ uniform, seeing that it is also the official colour of the ruling party. Perhaps the ministry of Information and National Guidance should look into this colorful matter and do something.

I was glad to meet some of the inmates who were branded notorious robbers and murderers by the media while they were being sentenced in the courts of law.

They all looked fresh and lovely. I will bet that some of the inmates looked healthier than many public servants. Every Easter season, 104.1 Power FM reaches out to prisoners with lots of goodies, such as a bull, sugar, salt, toiletries, sodas, and much more. I was invited to go along with them to witness this event.

My defining moment was when it was my turn to share a light moment with the inmates. It was such a bubbly audience out there. They laughed like they had been hired. The immense talent behind those high walls also mesmerised me. They had hip hop artistes who would give Jay-Z a run for his money.

I also concluded that these inmates are some of the most informed people. I managed to chat on current affairs with one convict and I was extremely wowed by his immense knowledge. He outlined on the famous Susan Kigula and 417 others who filed a petition in the Constitutional court, under Article 237 (3) of the constitution, challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty under the Constitution of Uganda.

How it ended is a story for another day. The highlight of the day was the final of the Easter trophy between Manchester United and Arsenal. The inmates doing the commentary were extremely hilarious.

They kept telling us how much each player earns in a week and how they are sure to get the same once out of prison. Uganda Cranes needs to go and scout for players in Luzira. They could be our only hope for the World Cup.

We had a sumptuous lunch with the inmates’ leaders and were treated to great music by the inmates’ band before we were ushered out of the prison. The mere fact that you are alive qualifies you as a potential candidate for prison, no matter how powerful or connected you may be.

I don’t think former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak or ex-Liberian president, Charles McArthur Taylor, ever thought they would one day be confined in prison.

Source : The Observer

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