Uganda Prisons Commissioner General Dr. Johnson Byabashaija and the Prisons Spokesperson Frank Baine have confirmed the recapture of some six (06) fugitives and three that have been killed in the pursuit for over 200 prisoners that escaped from Moroto Government Prison.
According to the Prisons Authorities some of the over 200 prisoners who on Wednesday (yesterday) escaped from the said prison, were COVID-19 contacts who were awaiting their results.
“We had a breakout in Moroto. 14 guns were taken. We have recaptured 6 of the fugitives alive. Three have been put out of action. Pursuit continues. It’s a matter of time. A very unfortunate incident indeed. Unfortunately, some of those who escaped are COVID-19 suspects who were waiting for their results,” Mr. Baine told reporters.
According to initial reports, over 200 prisoners yesterday took advantage of a slight shower to break out of Moroto Government Prison and stole 14 guns from the prison armoury while on their way out.
The group, who are said to be ex-guerrillas and are very well conversant with military tactics, then divided themselves into three and decided to escape conviction by scaling the Mount Moroto and are believed to either be in no-man’s land or to have crossed over to Kenya.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) led by the 3rd Division Commander Brigadier Joseph Balikuddembe and Police led by the Mt. Moroto Regional Police Commander Gerald Twishimye are still on the hunt for the armed, and extremely dangerous prisoners.
According to Mr. Baine, one soldier (unidentified) who was trailing the said prisoners was shot in an exchange and died consequently.
Three helicopters were deployed on Wednesday to assist in the hunt including a helicopter gunship and images captured aboard the choppers showed prisoners still dressed in their yellow uniforms scattered in the shrubs in different directions as they climbed the mountain.
The search was however called off at night and resumed on Thursday morning. There had also been reinforcements for both the army, police and prison authority to ensure the fugitives are apprehended.
Sources have attributed the prison break to failure in the prison authorities to invest in intelligence and also stress among prisoners after the prison was partially locked down after 30 inmates tested positive for Covid-19.