Drama in Karamoja

Sunday morning i decided to leave Karita, the field site. The night before the pastor was shot twice in his arm while reading the bible in his home. Roomers state that one of the candidates for the election were the one hiring the killing. I met the pastor in the church last week, he was really nice, and he even talked about child marriages and health care during his service. The pastor has been working to end corruption in the area, which is most likely the reason to why they tried to kill him.

Saturday night the army was transporting the pastor and shooting in the streets to mark their presence for something that felt like hours. I was in my hut terrified, because i didn´t know what happened, this being the second time i ever heard gun shots. I was sure that the streets were filled by blood and dead bodies, so i turned off the light and had a long discussion with myself if perhaps it would be better to lie underneath the bed or in it.

During one of our interviews with the married girls, we met a girl who tried to escape twice, both times she was beaten by her husband and his friends, she was one of few who went to school for quite some time. She said “imagine that this will be the rest of my life..i dont know if i can handle it”. My translator gave her some advice about where she could escape.

In an interview the administrative center, Amudat i talket to an NGO about their services and mentioned that for some of the girls we talked to, lacked an exit out of marriage, he disagreed, because they have a boarding school where 200 girls have escaped to since 2012, due to early marriage of FGM. I was tempted to give the story about the girl, so that she could enjoy this program and get out of her situation. Luckily i called my supervisor before, and he just said: if you do that, you are in great danger of being killed. The issue in Karita is the power of the men in the villages, the police fear them. And there is corruption. The police station is the spot where the girls are supposed to escape to before being picked up by the NGO.

Saturday night i was terrified that this husband of the girl had somehow discovered that we talked with her about escaping, and that he was outside my hut with his gun. Luckily my supervisor called and informed me about the situation, and also told me that this girl didn´t run away from her husband.

Monday is election day. Mama Ana, the host of the guesthouse had arranged some transport for me with the lorry’s transporting beer to the villages. Mama Ana is a known supporter of the NRM, the ruling party. The last election 3 weeks ago, someone tried to destroy her tv, but luckily they failed to enter the compound where the houses are. Some huts were burned down in some of the villages.

There is also a measles vaccination campaign and the police were busy with investigation and preparing for election campaign riots, so everyone i wanted to interview were caught up with something. I decided to come back to finish after transcribing the interviews i have so far. There is a power issue in Karita, so i went back to Kampala.


2 thoughts on “Drama in Karamoja

  1. Dear Inga,
    Oh, I did not know that you are also blogging on our blog. That is so nice, and you write so well. I am glad to hear that you are ok after that situation that must have been shocking. Take care and see you soon.

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