A Ugandan man, Mr Geoffrey Kakona, has taken back his daughter from the man who fathered her kids, following his failure to pay her bride price.
The decision left Laban Sabiti, a 29-year-old retail businessman in Bishayu Village, Ruhija Sub-county in Rubanda District, Uganda, stranded with five children including a 13-month toddler.
A confused and distraught Sabiti said the decision taken by Kakona, who is a resident of Kirima Village, Bushuura parish in Kanungu District, shocked him as he was already planning to pay up the bride price arrears totaling Shs6m.
“It is true I delayed paying bride price but I was planning to pay it in December this year. I was surprised when my father in-law came and took my wife, Ms Prize Twikirize even after explaining to him that I was willing to fulfil my traditional obligation,” Mr Sabiti, who has filed a case of child neglect with the police, says.
The eldest of Mr Sabiti’s children is aged 10, while the youngest was still enjoying the bonding experience of breastfeeding.
Sabiti’s travails highlight the marginalizing and weakening of young males who intend to get married.
Mbarara District senior probation officer, Mr. Steven Tumwiine, weighed in on the debate, claiming bride price was outlawed by the government.
“According to the laws of Uganda, dowry or bride price was abolished and any person aged 18 years and above has a right to marry a man or woman of her or his choice.
So, the old man [Ms Twikirize’s father] is infringing on the rights of his daughter. The old man is also infringing on the rights of his grandchildren by denying them a chance to have parents,” he said.