Mother commits suicide over failure to pay loan

Wednesday January 15 2020

 

By TOBBIAS JOLLY OWINY & DENIS OPOKA

Immediately Ms Christine Abalo, 53, saw group members of Ribe Aye Teko,( Unity is Strength), a village savings and loan association, approaching her home on Saturday afternoon, she reportedly ran inside her house and locked herself.

Neither her grandchildren nor her husband, Denis Okech, were at home when the members, who were on a loan recovery operation, arrived at the home. They proceeded to the home of the next loaned member.

However, on their way back, they were shocked upon seeing Ms Abalo lying unconscious by her door at Pajimo Central Village in Labongo-Okwang Sub-county, Kitgum District.

The mother of four had reportedly taken poison, since she could not afford to repay Shs500,000 loan she had borrowed from the group in September last year.

Mr Alex Oketayot, the village LC1 chairperson, said: “The members were shocked and immediately rushed her to St Joseph Hospital for management although she passed on the following day.”

The incidence was reportedly Abalo’s second time in less than a month to end her life for fear of shame that her property could be confiscated for failure to service the loan.

“It is not the first time, the deceased had earlier on in December last year attempted to commit suicide by hanging herself over the same matter but she was saved by her husband,” Mr Oketayot said.

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Ms Stella Achola, a member of the group, revealed that the deceased’s loan had accumulated to Shs580,000.

Failure to pay
“We tried several times to recover the money from her but we failed and this time the group had gone to her home to find a way forward but unfortunately we could not help when she decided to commit suicide,” Ms Achola said.

Upon getting a loan from the group, one is required to begin making payments after a month but Abalo never made any attempt to make any payment, according to Ms Achola.

The savings group’s constitution states that any member who borrows money from the group has to pay after one month and failure attracts group action such as confiscation of mortgaged properties and freezing the account of the defaulters, she added.

Ms Vicky Lalam, Abalo’s eldest daughter said her mother borrowed money from the group to start up a food vending business although the venture later collapsed.

Effort to get comment from the association’s chairperson, Ms Josephine Aber, was futile as her phone was off by the time of filing this report.

Mr Charles Oyo Adot, the Labongo-Akwang Sub-county chairperson, confirmed the incident and described it as unfortunate.

The deceased was laid to rest on Monday at her home in the same village.

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