Nwoya man forced to marry mentally ill dead woman

A man has been forced to marry a dead body of a mentally ill woman in Kalanga Village, Coo-rom Parish in Koch Goma Sub-county, Nwoya District.

Pawot Goya clan leaders and residents of Kalanga coerced a witch doctor, Opiyo Yongkol, to marry the dead body of Glory Aisha Akello, 18, with who he cohabited until her death on September 8, 2020.

Yongkol was forced to pay Shs6m, two cows and five goats to the Pageya clan members of Pageya parish in Omoro district from where the deceased hailed for having cohabited with their deceased daughter without their knowledge.

The Kalanga Village Chairman, Mr Julius Okot, says at the time of her death, Akello was carrying Yongkol’s two-month pregnancy.

Akello reportedly died after Yongkol and Amos Ojok allegedly battered her at the former’s home where she had been taken for treatment after developing mental disorder. Later, Yongkol turned Akello into a wife, says Mr Okot.

 “We were very surprised and never expected such an incident since Yongkol has been here as a witchdoctor and we anticipated the woman was just seeking traditional treatment,” says Mr Okot.

The chairman explains that on the fateful day, Yongkol and Akello developed a fight misunderstanding that forced Ojok to intervene and separate the two. However, he instead kicked her in the stomach.

“We don’t know what happened exactly because we never saw the postmortem report but it was reported that Akello was vomiting blood before she passed on. This means that she might have sustained an injury in her internal organs,” Mr Okot explains.

Yongkol and Ojok-the prime suspect in the murder were arrested on September 9, 2020 and they are currently detained at Nwoya central police station.

The Nwoya district police commander, Mr Filbert Waibi, confirms the report saying the suspects who were earlier on charged with assault, now face murder charges.

“Initially we had opened a case of assault against the duo but now that the victim has died, we shall charge them with murder straight away,” Mr Waibi told this website.

The Koch Goma Sub-county LC 3 Chairman, Mr John Bosco Okullo, who was part of the mediation team, says earlier, Yonkol was arrested before being released.

However, he later on confessed before the clan members and parents of the deceased that he contributed to Akello’s death. This called for his re-arrest.

“Earlier, nobody expected he [Yongkol] could have had a hand into the gruesome murder of Akello since they were already cohabiting. But following his confession and plea for forgiveness, we had to believe the unthinkable,” says Mr Okullo.

Mr Okullo says after meeting all the expenses as required traditionally, the parents of the deceased took the body to Omoro district for burial yesterday.

“There was a grave already dug at Yongkol’s place which shall now be refilled upon performing the Acholi cultural rituals,” Okullo says.

The LC 3 chairman suspects that the murder could have been a planned move to perform a ritual.

“You can imagine! After the incident, the said husband [Yongkol] never bothered to even inform Akello’s relatives or even take her to hospital for better treatment. So, what was the motive in this case? Mr Okullo wonders.

Similar incidents

Mr Okullo reveals that this is a third incident when men were forced to marry dead bodies in Koch Goma sub-county within the space of one month.

The first incident took place after a woman committed suicide accusing her husband of having an extra marital affair while the second happened when a woman died while giving birth.

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