Uganda bans phones for 'distracted' jailers during World Cup

KAMPALA, Uganda (AFP) — Ugandan authorities on Monday banned prison staff from using mobile phones during the World Cup, warning inmates might exploit the "excitement" surrounding the football tournament and escape.

"Commencement of the World Cup football tournament on 20th November 2022 and its excitement may result into prisoners' escape," Frank Mayanja Baine, spokesman for the commissioner general of prisons, said in a statement released on Monday.

"Staff must not report for duty with phones, for they distract attention and interfere with the level of alertness," Baine said, ordering officials to raise security in areas "where prisoners may be watching football".

Large-scale jail breaks are common in Uganda's often overcrowded prisons.

In September 2007 more than 200 prisoners escaped from a maximum security jail in north-east Karamoja region.

In 2006, 500 escaped from a prison facility in the West Nile region of Arua.

Uganda has over 6,000 inmates in its prison facilities, according to official records.

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy