The High Court in Mukono has ordered government to pay Shs200m to an inmate who was tortured by a prison warder as compensation for the grave injuries he sustained.
Henry Muloki, was arrested about five years ago on allegations of aggravated defilement. He was arraigned in court and remanded to Luzira Prison. He was however transferred to Kitalya Prison during the decongestion process.
It is at Kitalya that Muloki says he was subjected to torture that could leave him crippled for the rest of his life.
He was later referred back to Murchison Bay where he has been for the last two years.
Muloki who was carried into the courtroom by three other people yesterday pleaded guilty to the charges of aggravated defilement. Through his lawyer, Mr Emmanuel Turyomwe, he told the presiding judge, Margret Mutonyi that he was tortured two years ago by a prison warder, a one Afande Otim while at Kitalya Prison farm and since then, he cannot sit nor stand on his own.
The judge then sentenced him to four and half years. But because he has been on remand for about five years, the judge acquitted him on grounds of his ill health.
In addition to compensation, the judge also directed that the state should take care of Muloki’s medical bills at Mulago National Referral Hospital and that the human rights commission should investigate his torture case.
However, Uganda prisons spokesperson Mr Frank Baine said, “Any prison staff that tortures an inmate takes responsibility as an individual.”
Mr Baine further noted that as prison authorities, they are not satisfied by the judge’s decision.
“The man was in court on the trial of aggravated defilement. The case before court was not about torture. If there’s an allegation of torture, that’s another matter and I don’t think they can be handled jointly. If the judge decided to acquit the inmate then I don’t know whether the person who was defiled got justice. We shall study the judgment and respond accordingly,” he added.