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Sunday, August 14, 2022

FIGHT OVER DEAD BODY: Shock as Ex-Minister Nantaba’s Guards Grab Brother’s Body after Disagreement on Where the Deceased should be Buried; Coffin Left Empty

There were chaotic scenes in Kiyindi Village, Buikwe District as Police and LC officials struggled to calm down relatives who vehemently opposed a decision by former junior minister Idah Erios Nantaba to have her half-brother’s body buried away from his home.

All hell broke loose after a gang of Nantaba’s Kanyamas and heavily armed security officers literally grabbed the body of Christopher Mboowa from Kiyindi and drove it to Namankere against the deceased’s will and his family members’ wishes.

Stranded relatives converge at Christopher Mboowa's Kiyindi home after ex-Minister Nantaba's home forcefully took the body away.
Stranded relatives converge at Christopher Mboowa’s Kiyindi home after ex-Minister Nantaba’s home forcefully took the body away.

While Mboowa and Nantaba shared a mother, the ex-Minister and Kayunga District Woman MP is said to have been at loggerheads with Mboowa’s wife, his children and many other relatives for many years. It was therefore not surprising that the two groups disagreed on where to bury the late Mboowa’s body.

The Kiyindi graveyard where Christopher Mboowa had willed to be buried.
The Kiyindi graveyard where Christopher Mboowa had willed to be buried.

While the family insisted that Mboowa should be buried in Kiyindi as he had willed, Nantaba reportedly swore that nobody would stop her from burying her half-brother in Namankere.

The bewildelled young children look on into the Kiyindi coffin that remained empty after Christopher Mboowa's body had forcefully been carried away on Nantaba's orders
The bewildelled young children look on into the Kiyindi coffin that remained empty after Christopher Mboowa’s body had forcefully been carried away on Nantaba’s orders

In their argument, Mboowa’s children, widow and Kiyindi community members unanimously insisted that  it would be wrong to defy the late’s will since he had made it very clear that he should be laid to rest in Kiyindi where his family had lived for many years. They also argued that Namankere was a forested and deserted wasteland and that there was no reason why the body of a man like Mboowa should be buried there yet he had a home.

It was too much for the Kiyindi women many of them said they were seeing such chaos for the first time in their life time.
It was too much for the Kiyindi women many of them said they were seeing such chaos for the first time in their life time.

Besides, they continued, it would be irrational for Nantaba to insist on burying Mboowa’s body on the land belonging to his maternal side yet according to Buganda’s traditions, it is improper to bury someone at their maternal home’s burial grounds.

Furthermore, the locals had held a night vigil on Monday, hours after Mboowa was pronounced dead after being involved in a road accident. They had not only bought a coffin in which the deceased’s body would be laid to rest but they had also dug the grave that was supposed to be Mboowa’s final resting place. The grave had been dug in the family’s big burial grounds where a number of Mboowa’s relatives on his father’s side (those who had previously concluded their duties on earth) had been buried.

Some of the food mourners initially abandoned as teargas and chaos reigned at the Kiyindi vigil
Some of the food mourners initially abandoned as teargas and chaos reigned at the Kiyindi vigil

This publication has learnt that the burial grounds at Namankere are run by the elderly Naluwooza. Nantaba and Mboowa were just two of the 15 children that Naluwooza gave birth to, but from a number of men.

Christopher Mboowa's original coffin remained empty outside his house after the ex-Minister's men forcefully took away the body.
Christopher Mboowa’s original coffin remained empty outside his house after the ex-Minister’s men forcefully took away the body.

The entire village was united to resist Nantaba’s orders despite the determination of Nantaba’s mean-looking kanyamas and security officers accompanying them. In fact, the family initially succeeded to ward off Nantaba’s men, chasing them away with the coffin they had brought to carry the body in.

As Ganda culture requires, a banana tree (ekitooke) had to be planted in the Kiyindi coffin.
As Ganda culture requires, a banana tree (ekitooke) had to be planted in the Kiyindi coffin.

However, Nantaba’s ‘men,’ who were reportedly backed by the Buikwe District Police Commander (DPC), had the last laugh, leaving Mboowa’s Kiyindi relatives and most villagers cursing and wailing, as the kanyamas and security officers grabbed the deceased’s body and drove it to Namankere. The Nantaba gang had first reorganized before storming the Kiyindi village home. The kanyamas, who were bolstered by officers from Lugazi Police, had come with a new coffin, in which they placed Mboowa’s body and drove away.

As the dramatic scenes played out before their own eyes, Mboowa’s widow and children couldn’t help but wail as tears freely flowed from their eyes. Shocked by the chaos and drama, the elderly men and women spewed curses at Nantaba and her squad for not only disregarding her half-brother Mboowa’s will to be buried in Kiyinda but for also disrespecting the Buganda culture on the burial of the deceased on their paternal side’s burial grounds.

A banana tree had to be planted in the Kiyindi grave to comply with Ganda cultural norms and practice.
A banana tree had to be planted in the Kiyindi grave to comply with Ganda cultural norms and practice.

Left without any option, mourners at Kiyindi planted a banana tree in the grave that would have been Mboowa’s final resting place. According to the Kiganda culture, the planting of the kitooke tree in the grave happens when it is impossible for a family to secure the body of their loved one.

Overwhelmed mourners at the Kiyindi vigil
Overwhelmed mourners at the Kiyindi vigil

Struggling to come to terms with what had happened, Mboowa’s widow and orphans brokenheartedly cried to Gen Museveni to rein in his former minister Nantaba, saying that her defiance had become too much. As cameras captured the events of the day, the bereaved family begged Museveni to intervene in their matter and compel Nantaba to respect her half-brother’s will, especially the clause in which he made it clear that he should be buried in Kiyindi.

For hours, chaos reigned at Christopher Mboowa's Kiyindi home.
For hours, chaos reigned at Christopher Mboowa’s Kiyindi home.

The DPC, who the locals accused of wrongly siding with Nantaba, declined to comment on the matter. He instead told reporters to ask Nantaba and the Mboowa family in Kiyindi about the chaotic scenes.

Pearl Times Reporter
Pearl Times Reporterhttps://pearltimes.co.ug
Latest Uganda news, politics, business, health and entertainment coverage.

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