Karamoja Cleric Wants Locals Forced to Bury

2279 Views Moroto, Uganda

In short
At the funeral, about 20 members of Atekok Imongora were subjected to lashes by the clan authorities after they were rounded up from different places for attempting to dodge the burial.

Venn. Samuel Ngorok, the Sub Dean of St. Phillips Church of Uganda Moroto has called for stringent measures in Karamoja to compel residents to bury their departed relatives. 


While the dead are treated with respect in other parts of the country, attracting relatives, friend and in-laws from far and near, some people in Karamoja fear to associate with the dead.

 
In the past, whenever a relative passed on, people in that area would scatter and migrate, saying demise is a sign of disaster. Except for the elders, most corpses would be left to decompose in the open.



In some cases, bodies of children would be thrown in the rivers or be abandoned for vultures to feast on. Even now, Moroto Regional Referral Hospital is still struggling with unclaimed bodies. 



According to the Principal Hospital Administrator, Godfrey Mawa, relatives start running away from patients the moment their health condition deteriorates. 


He notes that even after improvising a pick-up for transporting corpses, a few people show up to claim for their departed relatives.  Now, Rev. Ngorok is calling for action to compel people in the region to bury their loved ones.

 
While presiding over a funeral mass at Olilim Village, Palam Sub County in Katakwi district during the burial of Jennifer Akino, the cleric was amazed by the orderliness given to the dead.


At the funeral, about 20 members of Atekok Imongora were subjected to lashes by the clan authorities after they were rounded up from different places for attempting to dodge the burial.

 
Rev. Ngorok observed that such measures would be replicated in Karamoja to help communities respect the dead.


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Joseph Aede, the Atekok Imongora County Clan Chief told URN that the clan came up with such measures to enforce discipline and order among the clan members especially during death.
 
He notes that before the penalties, most of the clan members would dodge burials, leaving the burden to the bereaved family.

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Whipping of errant members of the clan and those registered in burial groups is a common practice in Teso. Some of the defaulters are subjected to fines and other given severe punishments.