The most prevalent crimes committed by husbands against their wives in Namutumba district is wife beating and economic violence. These cases may be rampant because men have multiple sexual partners, a norm that has been accepted in these societies.
Hadijah Mutesi was not going to be different from the rest of her peers.
When she gave birth to their fifth child, the family noticed an abnormality on their son Joshua’s eyes and hastily took him for medical attention. Unfortunately, Joshua was diagnosed with cancer of the eyes which led to an operation that had both his eyes removed at a tender age of one and a half years.
The removal of little Joshua’s first eye was the beginning of his mother’s troubles.
“My husband started quarreling for no reason and beat me up several times. He said that he does not bare blind children and that he had nothing to do with my son Joshua. That was the beginning of our misery because shortly after that he left us for another woman” said Mutesi
For a year and some months, Mutesi’s husband left them without providing for anything for the children. Life became very unbearable for the then mother of five and her children. And to add salt to injury, he came home one day and destroyed part of their house, leaving only one room standing.
“He dismantled the house and took the materials to construct a separate house for his new wife. While I moved from hospital to hospital looking for a solution for my child’s sick eyes, he was selling all the crops we had harvested from our garden and spending the money on my co-wife. Several times I reported him to the L. C Chairman but the local council did nothing about it” Says Mutesi It was at this moment that a UGANET paralegal Hadijah Munubi learnt of her plight and called for a mediation. After several meetings and threats to have him arrested, Mutesi’s husband returned to his family.
“I told him that I was going to have him arrested by the police if he continued to abandon his family and neglect his duties. Fortunately, he listened.” Hadijah Munubi
Mutesi’s husband has not only returned home, but has also embarked on a journey to reconstruct part of the house he destroyed. Although he still keeps his second wife, he now provides for the family and resumed paying the children’s school fees, including little Joshua who he initially detested.