Shock in Lira City as man beheads wife in broad day

Wednesday September 15 2021
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The man was also killed by residents. PHOTO/COURTESY

By Patrick Ebong
By Bill Oketch

New details have emerged about how the life of a 40-year-old woman was claimed in what is believed to be a crime of passion.

Residents of Lira City were left shell shocked on Monday when a jilted man trailed the mother of his five children — who was travelling on a motorcycle — and severed her head from the body in broad daylight. 

The deceased is Vicky Akello. Local officials have also named the perpetrator of the murder near Omodo Market, Hollando Cell, Anai Ober Ward in Lira City West Division as Denis Alal.

Mr Denis Otim, the Anai Ober LC1 defence secretary, said Alal used a boda boda to chase down Akello.

“Alal then jumped off and pulled a sharp machete and cut off Akello’s neck. The head fell down. On watching the terrible incident, the two unidentified boda boda cyclists sped off and left the killer at the crime scene,” he said.

Alal then sought refuge at a nearby house said to be the home of Mr James Okabo. 

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“He tried to lock himself up but angry locals demolished part of the house and pulled him out. The mob cut him into pieces using the same machete he used to slash Akello,” Mr Otim said.

Ms Akello was a businesswoman dealing in rice on Aber Road, Ojwina Wigweng in Lira City West Division.  

Residents say Akello recently went to her ancestral village in Inomo Sub-county in Kwania District and sold some land with intent to buy her own land in Lira City.

“I think there was a family misunderstanding between them and the woman was planning to buy her own land where she can settle with her children, but this seems to have annoyed her husband,” Mr Otim said.

A checkered past

The North Kyoga police spokesperson, Mr Jimmy Patrick Okema, revealed that Mr Alal had previously served a prison sentence. 

Daily Monitor established that two days before committing the heinous crime, Alal had been released from prison where he had spent several months on remand for allegedly threatening to kill his estranged wife.

 Mr Patrick Ajal, the Arak Ongoda clan leader, said last year, Akello filed a case of threatening violence at Lira Central Police Station. The suspect, a driver at the time, was arrested, arraigned in court, and remanded to Lira Prison.

“He was supposed to reappear in court on September 16, but to our surprise, he was released last Saturday and he killed our daughter less than 48 hours after his release,” Mr Ajal said yesterday.

He said on two occasions, Mr Alal allegedly hired people to kill Akello whom he accused of infidelity.

“At one point, he hired a nurse to kill her using lethal injection, but the person revealed the mission to the victim…the case was reported to police, but it was mismanaged,” the clan chief said. 

Later, hired assassins descended on Akello’s mother where she was living after separating with her husband. They, however, aborted the mission after neighbours got concerned. 

Daily Monitor could not independently verify these claims, but we confirmed that the clan separated the couple last September. 

Mr Norman Ameny, the deceased couple’s son, also confirmed that infidelity caused the rift between his parents.

“Our mother started cheating and did not respect our father. In October, they separated and our mother filed a case of threatening violence against our father,” Mr Ameny said, adding: “On Friday, I went to prison together with my mother and my father indicated that he had already forgiven her and that was the reason he was released from prison. Yesterday (Monday), I received a shocking report that he had killed our mother and that an angry mob also killed him.”

PREVALENCE

Domestic violence remains a big problem in the Lango Sub-region with at least 1,180 cases registered by Police. It is said to be fuelled by alcoholism, poverty and drug abuse. Data from Lira-based North Kyoga regional police headquarters indicated that the number of cases of domestic violence started increasing in March 2020 when Uganda went in the first of its two hard lockdowns.  In January, 113 cases of domestic violence were registered in the districts of Lira, Dokolo, Kole, Oyam, Kwania, Amolatar, Apac, Otuke, and Alebtong. The numbers in March (132), April (136), May (124), June (170), July (145), August (182) and September (178) do not make for good reading.  

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