Ugandan Female Drug Convict, 24, ‘Dying in Prison’

Shirat Nalwadda being escorted by a prison_web.jpg

Credible reports gathered by the Daily Observer say a Ugandan woman, Shirat Nalwadda, who was sentenced to 4 years in jail to be served in her homeland, is “slowly dying,” after she was transferred  from the Monrovia Central Prison to a cell in Bomi County.

It is not clear what is causing her ill-heath, but the source said her health had deteriorated to the extent that she does not eat anymore.

She was found guilty in early 2014 and sentenced to jail in her homeland, Uganda, by then Criminal Court ‘C’ Judge Blamo Dixon on the commission of the crimes of unlawful possession, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs in Liberia.

In that ruling, Judge Dixon declared that “The defendant is hereby adjudged guilty of the said crime, and she is hereby further sentenced to imprisonment for the period of four consecutive years with immediate effect. The defendant is also hereby ordered to be deported from Liberia through diplomatic channels to serve her sentence in the Republic of Uganda."

That order was intended for the Liberian government to immediately deport her to serve her prison term in her country.  But a source told the Daily Observer, “Unfortunately the Liberian government has failed to honor the decision of its own court, something which many consider as a “bad precedent,” between two separate and equal branches of government.”

When her defense attorney was contacted yesterday, he could neither confirm nor deny the report but instead admitted that since she was transferred from Monrovia to the Bomi cell, the outbreak of the Ebola virus caused the Liberian government to send all female prisoners to Bomi, while male inmates remained in Monrovia.  He had never visited her since then, he admitted.

“If her condition is deteriorating I believe it, because I was the only one who used to visit her at Monrovia Central Prison and also take food to her there,” Atty. Elisha T. Forekeyoh stated.

“She does not eat rice as we do in Liberia.  The only foods that she eats are spaghetti, plantain, banana, tomato and fruits and whenever she needed food she would usually call me.”

Shirat Nalwadda, 24, a native of Uganda, was arrested at the Roberts International Airport on November 30, 2013 with 1.2 kilograms of heroin found in her luggage which the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) put at a street value of US $30,000, an equivalent of LD2,400,000.

She was charged with unlawful possession, trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs and subsequently indicted by the Grand Jury of Montserrado County on December 11, 2013.