Internal Affairs Minister Maj Gen. Otafire Kahinda wants the Uganda Prisons Service to make garments for both the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces and Uganda Police Force.
Otafire made the remarks while commissioning the new garment workshop machinery at Kitalya Mini Max Prison. According to the Commissioner in charge of Prison Industries Robert Munanura the new equipment will be used to train inmates in the craft of tailoring, cloth making and stitching of all staff and prisoners’ uniforms.
Munanura said that the garment machinery is a springboard into the competitive, modern mass production of quality garments where they shall be able to make their own uniforms and progressively venture into commercial enterprise and make garments for other institutions. He adds that the revitalization of Uganda Prisons Industries will enable prisons to attain self-financing and sufficiency through sales of industrial products to the government and the community while providing practical skills to offenders to reduce recidivism.
It’s on the basis of this that Gen Otafire said that all the armed forces should assign the docket of making uniforms to Uganda Prisons because they have the manpower to cloth them. Currently, the Police uniforms are made by the Police Garment Factory on Jinja Road jointly with private suppliers. However, in December last year, the Police Garment factory was razed by a fire.
He is optimistic that after clothing all men in uniform, the prisons facility can expand its capacity to serve other entities like the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Directorate of Immigration and private security service providers.
While congratulating the Uganda Prisons for the foresight for acquiring a machine that will simplify their work, the minister asked them to start making shoes, boots and stockings for prison staff and other sister agencies. He also asked the Uganda Prisons to train trainers to increase capacity to produce and increase their non-tax revenue base.
Gen Otafire asked the Commissioner General of Prisons Dr Johnson Byabashaija to ensure that the correctional aspect of Uganda Prisons is emphasized and actualized.
Dr Byabashaija commended President Museveni for ensuring that Uganda Prisons have a budget to revive its own industries and asked the minister to support him to raise their budget with 32 billion Shillings which they have requested to be spent over five years to establish the required capacity in garment making and agriculture among other establishments.
According to the Uganda prisons Spokesperson Frank Baine, a uniform generally costs about 100,000 Shillings. “It would require Uganda Prisons to bid in order to take over the job of making uniforms at the various government agencies and then contractual arrangements would be made,” Baine said, adding that the minister’s suggestions would be actualized through a number of administrative decisions.