2008: A son, all in the family

On this date in 2008, Abura Apalalu of Longorinyangai village, Namalu Sub-county, in Nakapiripirit District of Uganda convened a traditional (but illegal) tribunal to try his two sons for raping their sister.

Apalalu found the youths guilty and condemned his own flesh and blood to death … after which they were both beaten by fellow-villagers, one of them fatally.

The incident illustrates the challenge of getting people in the Karamoja region, where traditional systems are used to serve justice, to conform to the rule of law as enshrined in Uganda’s constitution.

Last year alone, according to the UPDF 3rd Division spokesman, Capt. Henry Obbo, five people were hanged on orders of the Karimojong traditional clan court sitting at Namalu in Nakapiripirit District.

Nakapiripirit District Community Development Officer Michael Edikoi says under the traditional justice system, a person who kills is supposed to be killed. “You are told to dig two graves, one for the person you have killed and the other for yourself. Then you are forced to bury the dead before being stoned to death and buried in the other grave next to your victim,” he said.

2 thoughts on “2008: A son, all in the family”

  1. True justice! They were his own sons, his own daughter and he still sought a justice system he understood to dish out justice! Pained as he was, he never took the law in his own hands, he granted them a fair trial and even went ahead to accept the sentence as handed down by the justice system. The country might recognise them but atleast they are fair and people follow them as they know them.

    Uganda is full of corrupt twisted people in the formal legal system.

  2. Twisted as that is, at least the man was defending his daughter and didn’t blame her for the attack or kill her to restore the family honor or anything like that.

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