Villagers flog cousins during incest “cleansing” ritual

The two cousins who were flogged after incest act. PHOTO credit: Daily Monitor

Residents of Oogoria village in Eastern Uganda descended on two cousins with canes in a “cleansing ceremony”.

The two, both in their forties, were recently caught red-handed while engaging in a sexual relationship and they were subjected to flogging in a cleansing ritual aimed at shielding the community from generational curses.

The duo from Kumi District, met their punishment after they were “arrested” in an overnight raid last Saturday.

They were found in the man’s house following a two-week surveillance after suspicions that they were involved in a sexual affair. Their clan forbids sex between relatives.

According to villagers, the “lovers” were apprehended at 2am while in the act.

Their clan heads thereafter staged a cleansing ceremony where the man and woman received several strokes of the cane.

They then paid a fine of a goat for the enforcers to have a feast to “wash away the shame they underwent on seeing their nakedness at the time of their arrest”.

The duo were then forced into a grass kiln that was set ablaze. They were then allowed to flee the kiln as clan enforcers administered beatings.

According to Mr John Charles Omongole, the chairperson for Inomu Ikomion clan, the cleansing rite is for people who commit incest.

“When the fire engulfs the entire kiln, the offenders are expected to run in different directions, and during that moment, the clan soldiers will follow them with some lashes,” he explained.

Mr Omongole said that if by coincidence the two run in the same direction, that implies that the duo have not repented, so another kiln will be set up and the exercise repeated.

After the cleansing ritual, the duo were forced to make a pact that they will not repeat the offence and will observe the norms of the Teso community.

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Antony Nyongesa
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