Widow who attacked priest at husband’s burial speaks out

Rev Nathan Nkuranga who was attacked and Ms Dinavance Twinobusingye, the widow. PHOTOS/PEREZ RUMANZI

What you need to know:

  • She says the action was done in a fit of anger after being accused of killing her husband.

The woman accused of assaulting an Anglican priest during her late husband’s funeral service in Ntungamo District in March has said the scuffle helped her escape mob action and banishment.

Ms Dinavance Twinobusingye, 47, claimed her in-laws had planned to banish her from the village amid allegations that she was responsible for her husband’s death.  

The family had invited the priest, Rev Nathan Nkuranga, to their ancestral home in Kishami Parish, Ruhaama East Sub-county, to lead the prayers ahead of the burial of Brazio Biryomumaisho.

This came on the backdrop of complaints from mourners and some family members that the widow, Ms Twinobusingye, was responsible for the death.
The mourners and relatives claimed that the deceased died an unhappy man and that he had been starved to death.

While leading prayers, Rev Nkuranga in his homily reportedly preached against mistreatment of spouses, which infuriated Ms Twinobusingye, who attempted to hit him with a stick.

Police intervened and arrested Ms Twinobusingye and other four family members and this forced the priest to abandon the service before ordering for a post-mortem to be conducted before burial.

“I later learnt that they [her in-laws] had planned to kill me and my children or banish me from the village as it normally happens to women here after the burial. They would then take the family land,” Ms Twinobusingye told Daily Monitor in an interview at the weekend.

She added: “They put up accusations that I had poisoned my husband. Given what we had gone through, I became so angry that I could not contain it anymore. It was too much. I picked the stick to fight. All had been organised by my in-laws. I think the reverend was wise though I became angry with him.”

The relatives claimed that while her husband was violent and a drunkard, she didn’t have any reason to kill him.

“We had lived together long enough. He would come at night and beat us up. I had my money, he had his money. Why would I kill him? I never thought he would die so early like that anyway,” Ms Twinobusingye said.

The brother of the late Biryomumaisho, Mr Moses Bagambe, had accused the widow of being responsible for their brother’s death.

The late was admitted to Itojo Hospital in Ntungamo District for five days before he passed on.

“When he was taken to hospital, his family did not follow him up to hospital. When the wife went to visit him, he died the next morning, and we suspected there was foul play,” Mr Bagambe told Daily Monitor in an interview.

Later on April 11, the post-mortem report by pathologists at Mulago National Referral Hospital cleared suspicions of poisoning and said the deceased had died of intestinal obstruction.

The Ntungamo District Police Commander, Ms Patience Baganzi, said they have since released the suspects and closed investigations after the post-mortem report ruled out murder.

Ms Twinobusingye had since reconciled with the priest and appreciated the role he  played in sorting out the matter.

“The woman came to church, we talked and she repented. She told me her story and also said she appreciated what I did. I still stand my ground. I can’t bury a person where I know there are conflicts that may escalate after burial. Some cases we must resolve as church leaders,” Rev Nkuranga said.

“There are so many cases of domestic violence around this place and they are leading to murder. At times when the family head dies, there are accusations and people get killed either by mob or by relatives,” he added.

Domestic violence
According to the Ntungamo Police Station, 1400 cases of domestic violence are reported every year, 200 of which are of men accusing their wives of violating them.