Papa, it is amazing the triggers of my memories of you. Take for instance the tragic saga surrounding the remains of the late Kasango, a lawyer who died of heart related complications on Saturday, 27th February, while he was in Luzira Prison serving a 16-year sentence.
Papa, it is not how Kasango died that is important now, but rather the tragedy of his mother and his wife disagreeing over the final resting place for his remains. The vicious fight of the two women has ashamed his remains – as Iteso say: “erumata ates ngin ileic (his remains are ashamed).”
Papa, can you imagine, on Tuesday, after the memorial service, his mother led a mob of his relatives, hijacked Kasango’s remains from All Saints Cathedral; loaded them on a lorry; and attempted to drive them to Tororo for burial.
Papa, the police were called in; they intercepted Kasango’s relatives; and his remains were returned to the custody and care of A-Plus Funeral Management, until it is settled where burial will be.
Papa, you would have asked: “Ido berr Kasango, emamai nges ere (but that Kasango, did he not have a home)?” I thought it too when I saw his relatives toss the coffin carrying his remains on a shabby lorry; as opposed to the A-Plus hearse hired to transport Kasango’s remains with dignity.
Papa, I am not 100 percent clear as to whether the late had built his own home on his own land; but it is clear that he had not built a home at his ancestral village in Tororo. Which begs the question: I wonder why?
Papa, anyway, apparently, late Kasango bought and owned a farm in Kabarole, where he built a farm house, and that is where his wife wants his remains to be laid to rest. His mother instead wants his remains to be buried at his ancestral village in Tororo, apparently, on a plot of land that she bought.
Papa, really, within the Iteso wisdom of old, me thinks, the remains of late Kasango should be buried at his farm in Kabarole.
“In olden days the dead were buried either in the cattle kraal or in the house in which they lived, the house continuing to be occupied for some time after the internment. When huts containing graves were finally abandoned, they were never pulled down or destroyed, but left to decay. These customs are no longer followed and the dead are buried in the compound.”“The Iteso,” by J.C.D. Lawrence
Papa, these days, indeed, it is the pride of Etesot, while he is still alive, to be able to state and to confirm that his remains shall be laid to rest in a prime location in the compound of his homestead, where he lived and or built a home; as you did.
Papa, you made it very clear where your remains should rest eternally, at the compound of your late mother’s house which you built for her within the compound of your grand homestead; and a house which I inherited.
The resting place for the remains of the late Engineer George Willian Obityo Owaraga, the Chief, my papa, are within the compound of his grand home in Kadoki in Akadot in Pallisa and at the spot he choosing, behind his late mother’s house. His mother, Joyce Mary Alinga long rested before him and I, Aling II, his daughter named after his mother, became his cultural mother and I inherited my grandmother’s house.
Papa, and when some of those dishonest thieving relatives claimed that you had changed your mind and had instructed that your remains be laid to rest elsewhere in your compound, we were many in the know and we prevailed. Your remains were laid to rest at your chosen spot.
Papa, the dishonest shamelessly claimed that you had instructed that your remains be laid to rest in the very location you said not to – where you constructed soak pits for your home, our home.
Papa, as your remains were, may Kasango’s remains be laid to rest in the right spot.