Arusha, 8 June 2007 (FH) - The Rwandan government announced the relocation of Kigali prison commonly known as "1930" worth 9,170 000 USD from Kigali city to the Butamwa in Nyarugenge district.   

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According to the New Times newspaper, the minister for the Internal Security Sheihk Musa Fazil Harerimana said on Tuesday that his ministry is undertaking a campaign based on the relocation of prisons within Kigali city centre and its municipals. And another prison to be relocated is the Remera prison in Kimironko located in a city suburb.
The minister said that Kigali central prison will be demolished and the land will be sold to the private developers while the Nyarugenge district provided 800hectares of land to facilitate the relocation. He stated that the government through that relocation will be in a good position to engage prisoners in productive activities including agriculture.
The Remera prison currently can host over 10,000 prisoners and the new Kigali prison 15,000 inmates. For this matter the Remera prison will be capable of hosting at least 1,000 juvenile convicted.
The plan stated that the new facility would cost over six billion but they are targeting to cut the cost using inmates sevices in terms of constructing and the relocation process would be effective next year. The prison will be subdivised in three wings mentioning that of women, children and men.
Other plans include state-of-the-art executive cells for the case of foreigners arrested in Rwanda and in case they need to be isolated.
 "Our judiciary has of recent been credited internationally and we may be asked to host international prisoners as it is the case for Mali, which is detaining Rwanda Genocide convicts." said the minister

He added that those kind of cells will be self contained and stated that there are six Rwandans including former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda who are currently serving their respective sentences in Mali after being convicted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, (ICTR).

Meanwhile the construction of the new prison will start from a block that will serve as a transit centre for suspects (who will be transferred from ICTR) during the course of trial, as their designated prison is the newly constructed Mpanga, Southern Province.
He said the transit centre will be turned into a Prisons administrative office after ICTR suspects' trials are completed.

"We will collaborate with the Kigali City Council to source for us real estate developers who will buy our current premises, with the expections of pooling over a billion francs," he explained.

In another development, the opposite area to the ‘1930' prison, which is currently accommodating the Muhima Police Headquarters, has also been sold to private developers.

The campaign of refurbishing national prisons to suit international standards started with the Mpanga Prison which has been approved by officials at ICTR. It has the capacity to host 7,500 inmates.

"Our main objective as envisaged in the Vision 2020 is to cut down the number of prisons in the country¸ as it counts a big number. Currently, the statistics show that there is 16 prisoners in one prison per province," the minister said.

He said that forwards after streamlining the prisons department, will be police posts.
In 2006, there was, from humanitarian sources (Liprodhor) in 16 Rwandan prisons 67921 detainees. 80 per cent of them were charged of genocide.


© Hirondelle News Agency