Out of the 1492 students that graduated from Makerere University Business School (MUBS) on the 12th graduation ceremony on Friday were 12 Luzira Upper Prison former convicts.
Among the ex-convicts was Paul Lomanio, stuff a former Kotido District Chairperson who had been sentenced for 42 years in Prison for murdering one of the area councilors.
Lominio successfully challenged the conviction and sentence before the High Court, and he was released from Prison having served about 7 years of the sentence.
While still in Luzira, Lomanio enrolled for a Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management, which he finished in 2015.
“By God’s grace I was released in September but I continued with my Diploma which I had already enrolled for, and now I am graduating,” Lominio told Chimpreports.
“I thank MUBS for bringing education to prison,” he added. “This helps not only with reforming inmates but also stress management; and provides a preparatory ground for inmates to become useful when they are out,” Lominio said.
The ex-con says inmates try to manage time by engaging into such programs and engaging in spiritual undertakings which ready them to reintegrate with society.
“Entrepreneurship is one factor that tends to favor prisoners because in there we actually start to build our dreams. We draft business plans so that should there be an opportunity — even when on death penalty – the hope remains alive that once one is out they will be able to restart life.
Lominio told is he is currently undertaking several business ventures which include running a guest house in Kotido, rentals, has started a hardware shop as well as running a crafts shop having learnt the skills from prison.
“I am not ready to join politics again; it is a red line to me because I suffered for nothing; entrepreneurship is the only way to go for me and remaining self-employed and create jobs for relatives and friends.”
“Today we are 12 who have attended this outreach graduation out of a class of around 192, the rest of who are inside prison; we are very happy to be given the opportunity to study by MUBS free of charge and extending the education service to the inmates, we also ask them to extend the degree program as well.”