Two women – an elderly mother and her daughter – from a remote village in Pallisa district have been hacked to death over land wrangles within their family.
Jane Nambaluka, 62, who was heir to her late father Amulamu Lenyi, and her mother Edith Namuge, 82, met their death Wednesday evening, reportedly at the hands of 18-year-old Amulamu Lenyi (same names as the late).
It has been established that before his death, Lenyi left a will favouring his five daughters to inherit his estate and selected Nambaluka to be his heir.
And so when he died, the clan respected his wishes and installed Nambaluka as successor.
However, some members of the Batekoko Bakedi clan, including the clan leader Willy Achilla, were not happy with a woman inheriting family property, especially land.
This group instead preferred that Amulamu Lenyi, a grandson of Lenyi from his brother’s side, be the heir.
This caused conflict between Nambaluka with her mother and sisters on one side, and Lenyi with a section of the clan members on the other.
“My sister had agreed to give the clan 25 acres and the family remains with 20 acres for purposes of having peace in the clan, but they insisted to take it all, saying Namuge [Nambaluka’s mother] failed to produce a boy,” said Mary Mbeiza, Nambaluka’s sister.
Mbeiza said this resulted into a civil suit being filed at Pallisa chief magistrates’ court and later the High Court in Mbale.
On December 18, 2013 the trial judge, Henry Kaweesa ruled in favour of Nambaluka. Sam Kirya, a relative, said Lenyi (junior) had tried to kill Nambaluka early this year.
The LC1 chairman of Dodoi village, Salim Balanteye, said Lenyi kept harassing Nambaluka.
“This prompted the office of the resident district commissioner and human rights lawyers from Mbale to conduct a number of sensitisation meetings about succession rights for the parties involved and the community,” said John Nabende, the Resident District Commissioner.
He said that on the fateful day, Nambaluka and her mother Namuge had gone to cultivate the land when they were attacked and hacked to death.
Lenyi and his accomplices reportedly fled the area after committing the crime.
RDC Nabende said: “My office and the community liaison department of Police have taken initiatives to educate communities, but this occurrence has abused our input. I pray this does not turn into vendetta.”
However, the district Police commander, Matthias Turyasingura, appealed to the suspects to report to Police because given the anger people have, the Police fear for their safety.
“I appeal to the community to stay calm as the Police do their work of investigation,” he said.
The police boss blamed the clan leader for disrespecting women’s rights to own property and inciting Lenyi against his aunt.