Inmates in Kirinya prisons have been urged by Bishop of Busoga Diocese, Rt Rev Paul Naimanhe to live positively as they complete their sentences and regain back their freedom.
Naimanhe visited the inmates on Friday noted that prisoners irrespective of their present circumstances are children of God, who deserve compassion and spiritual nourishment just like it is the case with other people across the world.
Quoting Romans: 8:1 which states that there is no condemnation for whoever believes in Christ Jesus, Naimanhe noted that, much as the world judges have pronounced sentences against them over their past mistakes, prisoners ought to serve God with renewed hope of freedom, well aware that God is ready to accept their repentance.
One of the inmates hailed Naimanhe for sparing time to fellowship with them irrespective of their present circumstances.
“I have served for 20 years now, and I am left with five to complete my sentence, but I have never seen someone of high caliber in the community visiting us here, save for some judges who come to conduct special court sessions. Most of the first-class citizens and other walks of life rarely visit this complex and we are truly energized, encouraged, and strengthened for having bishop Naimanhe visit us today,” he says.
Another said, “Only God can forgive me for what I did and as I near the completion of my sentence later this year, I am confident that, the words of God spoken to us through bishop Naimanhe, will enable me to return to the community a more transformed person than when I came here.”
Naimanhe revealed that the diocese plans to set up a church called St Paul’s Chapel, with a full-time chaplain within Kirinya prisons, as a means of offering free rehabilitation services in the form of counseling, and prayer sessions to the inmates.
Naimanhe said that some inmates are guilty of the offences labeled against them, whereas others are victims of circumstances and as a means of ensuring the total transformation of such individuals, the church should be at the forefront of steering friendly rehabilitation drives focused more on spiritual nourishment, rather than condemning them for their past mistakes.
He gifted the inmates with nine boxes of bar soap, six boxes of glycerin, ten boxes of razor blades, and small fish spices to mix within their food rations. Jinja district prisons commander, Ben Okuboi noted that several inmates have been condemned by their families and they have never received any visitors since they were detained, but a pastoral visit from bishop Naimanhe was quite encouraging.
“Some inmates lack visitors and such a pastoral visit from the Anglican church bishop has encouraged them to live in good health and lead purposeful lives, with the hope of being released and reunited with their families someday, after concluding their prisons sentences,” he said.
Kirinya prisons is home to 3,286 inmates and of these, 128 are women.