Residents of Omunyole village in Kisoko Sub-county in Tororo district are stuck with a 6 feet grave they dug a week ago to bury a man who tricked his family that he had succumbed to COVID-19. Charles Ogolla alias “Obwanga” reportedly used his friends in Bugiri municipality to call his family using his mobile phone claiming that he had died of COVID-19.
Ogolla’s mother, Anastasia Alweny, says that the caller, who did not identify himself, said the deceased’s body was lying at Bugiri Main hospital. Alwenyi says that the caller asked them to send him Shillings 1.5million via Ogolla’s phone number to clear medical bills in Bugiri hospital, buy a coffin and transport the body for burial.
According to Alwenyi, she mobilized the money and sent it. However, to their surprise Ogolla returned home two days after. The family is now stuck with the grave since there is nobody to bury there. Alwenyi says that the Tieng Adhola cultural institution advised them not to fill up the grave until they perform required clan rituals to cleanse the family members and their son from the curses.
“The culture heads have instructed us not to fill up the grave until the clan perform required rituals to cleanse the family from bad omen.” she said
Andrew Okello, a family member, says that they need to buy chicken, local brew and mobilize their clan members for the cleansing ritual ceremony. He is, however, worried that they may not pull off the function because of the COVID-19 restrictions.
Kevin Athieno, the deputy premier of Tieng Adhola cultural institution, says that it’s an abomination for someone to proclaim his death, saying that it is now up to the family members to perform cleansing rituals because they shade tears, set fire in the compound to mourn the false death of their son.
Charles Owino, the LC 2 chairman Mirikiswa parish in Kisoko Sub-county, says that Ogallo’s action has cast a bad spell on the family members and they must perform the required rituals. Owino advised residents to first confirm with relevant authorities when they receive news of the death of their relatives especially during the lockdown where one may falsify his death to get money for survival.