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Two women fight over burial of their husband, hire separate cars to carry coffin

by Editorial Team
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By Kampala Sun Writer

A dispute has erupted between the two widows over the burial site of their late husband.  

Moses Ekwaro, who was living in Canada, passed on in late 2022, but when his casket arrived at Entebbe International Airport on February 2, 2023, both widows brought separate vehicles to transport the coffin.  

Following the disagreement between the two parties, Police at Entebbe International Airport was prompted to confiscate the body and it was taken to Mulago mortuary. 

The widows, Annet Kiwanuka Namusoke and Eva Oboth, took the matter to court. 

During the hearing at the Family Court in Makindye on Monday, court heard that the body had been left in the corridors of the mortuary at Mulago Hospital and that it had started decomposing after being locked away while untreated. 

This prompted Judge Cecilia Nagawa to order one of the widows who had kept the key to the casket, to hand it over to the medical personnel so that the body can treated.  

“The deceased should be respected and accessed for treatment by Mulago Hospital medical personnel and be given a fair send-off like any other person,” the judge directed.  

Quoting Article 28 of the Constitution, Nagawa said; “Everyone has the right to respect of his or her dignity. No one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment that violates his or her dignity.”  

The judge added that under the law, it grants both parties a fair hearing for the decent send-off of the dead, and that time should be put into consideration.  

The State said it needed more time to study the petition, arguing that they had been served a few days ago yet the document was big.  

Nagawa adjourned the case to February 23 for a hearing of the application to release the body.  

According to the case filed on January 23, one of the widows, Annet Kiwanuka Namusoke, wants the body of Ekwaro to be buried at Lukyamu village, Katikamu sub-county Luwero district at their matrimonial home.  

The application is backed by affidavits of Jane Namusoke Omaset, the mother of the deceased and Eunice Abonyo, a sister to the deceased.  

Namusoke, in her affidavit, said; “We usually talked on the phone with my husband while in Canada and he bid me farewell to us on April 8 last year when he last visited Uganda.” 

“My husband would usually call me, but on November 9 last year, he texted me that he was sick and he had not eaten for three days,” she added.

However, lawyer Deogratius Odokel Opolot, who said he was representing the late Ekwaro’s family, said the deceased was married to Eva Oboth.  

Opolot said records indicate that Oboth was the wife of the late after she (Oboth) introduced him to her parents in Dokolo district in 2012. The lawyer said the introduction was followed by a traditional marriage in 2014.

Opolot further asserted that the fact that Ekwaro had produced two children with Namusoke does not qualify her to direct where the deceased should be buried.

The lawyer explained that Ekwaro’s mother attended Oboth’s introduction and marriage ceremonies and that there were pictures to prove that. 

Counsel Opolot said they expect the late to be buried at his ancestral grounds in Kachumbala, Kumi district and traditional rituals are expected to be performed before he is laid to rest. 

“As people from Teso, we normally have different rituals we perform before the dead is buried including the positioning of the head, which is supposed to face a particular side,” he argued. 

Moses Nyapendi, a brother to the late who travelled from Australia, said was disappointed to see widows fighting that since they are still struggling to have their brother get a decent burial. 

Nathan Oluka, the youngest brother to the late, said he was disappointed that the issue was not being resolved quickly to accord their brother a decent burial.

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