Couple Marries Off Daughter For Food

November 08, 2016: By Moses Bikala, The New Vision Newspaper:

Police in Iganga district have arrested a couple who married off their teenage daughter in order to get money to buy food at home.

Richard Nalugoda, 48, and Nakaziba Ajiambo, 38, told police they decided to marry off their 13-year-old daughter because they had run out of food.

They said the girl – who is in Primary Five – has been also a poor performer at school.

They were arrested on Tuesday after the head of the school where the girl goes alerted local council officials.

Nalugoda, a peasant farmer from Nsozibili village in Buyanga sub-county, said their daughter had been performing poorly in class for the last three years yet they struggle to keep her in school.

He said they have other ten children to look after.

“This girl has been always the last in class yet she always returned back home very late in the night,” said the frustrated father at Iganga Central Police Station.

Together with his wife, they decided to marry her off in order to save her from getting pregnant while still at their home.

The area LC1 chairman, Jamada Kibwika said the couple handed their daughter to a 20-year-old man who reportedly offered them sh100,000 and promised to pay a remainder sh50,000 within three months.

Kibwika added that the young man, Asuman Kitega, is already married to two other women.

On his part, Kitega said he accepted to marry the teenage girl following pressure from her parents who claimed they wanted money to buy food at their home.

Meanwhile, the girl said her parents had failed to provide her with necessities like sanitary pads, pencils and pens as well as lunch at school.

But she claimed that she had been tortured by her husband during their time together.

Busoga East police spokesman James Mubi said the parents and the young couple are all being held and will soon appear before court to answer charges of procuring defilement and procuring an early marriage, and defilement respectively.

His message to parents is to work and earn money instead of marrying off their young daughters to older men.

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