The Minister for Internal Affairs Maj. Gen. Otafiire Kahinda has said that Uganda Prisons Service (UPS) should use its expertise to make garments for both the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces and Uganda Police Force.
Gen. Otafiire 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 give skills to inmates in the craft of tailoring, cloth making and stitching of all staff and prisoners’ uniforms.
“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,” Munanura said.
He added that the revitalization of Uganda Prisons Industries will enable Uganda Prisons Services 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.
Gen Otafiire said that all the Uganda Armed forces should assign the docket of making uniforms to Uganda Prisons since they have the manpower to make them and currently, the Police uniforms are made by the Police Garment Factory in Jinja Road jointly with private suppliers.
Minister Otaffire 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.
Whereas Gen Otafiire congratulated the Uganda Prisons Services for the foresight of acquiring a machinery that will simplify their work, he also asked them to start making shoes, boots and stockings for prison staff and other sister security agencies.
The Minister of Internal Affairs 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 so that inmates can come out of prison with skills that can make their lives better.
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 Shs32 billion which they have requested to be spent over five years to establish the required capacity in garment making and agriculture among other sectors.
According to the Uganda Prisons Services Spokesperson Frank Baine, a uniform generally costs about Shs100,000 and it would require Uganda Prisons Services to bid in order to take over the job of making uniforms at the various government agencies and then contractual arrangements would be made and added that the Minister’s suggestions would be actualized and realized through a number of administrative decisions.