By Abdulkarim Ssengendo, New Vision, 10/12/2017

Penninah Natamba the wife of Eric Atushemeza who were both killed by the fire. Photo by Abdulkarim Ssengendo

The two had misunderstandings with Atushemeza accusing Natamba of cheating on him.

A 28-year-old man reportedly set himself and his wife ablaze over allegations of her infidelity.

The incident occurred on Tuesday evening in Katete village, Nyamitanga division in Mbarara Municipality.

The Rwizi Region Police spokesperson, Samson Kasasira identified the victims as Eric Atushemeza, who hails from Kyamugorani in Mbarara Municipality and 23-year-old Penninah Natamba from Itendero in Sheema district.

When the fire broke out, residents removed window frames from the house so as to break into the room they shared and tried to rescue Atushemeza and Natamba.

Residents found Atushemeza dead and managed to extract Natamba who was in critical condition.

She was rushed to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital in critical condition but she passed away on Wednesday morning.

All their belongings in the house were consumed in the inferno.

Residents said the two had misunderstandings with Atushemeza accusing Natamba of cheating on him.  According to relatives, the two were traditionally married for two years.

Owen Rutoogo, Atushemeza’s elder brother told New Vision that his brother told him on Saturday how he was not happy with the wife, telling him that he caught her red-handed with another man in his house.

“We know about their issues, the whole problem originated from the wife cheating on him, he told his wife that he was to spend the night in the village, incidentally he didn’t and when he returned home at night he found his wife with another man in his bed,” Rutoogo said.

According to residents of Katete, Atushemeza reportedly beat up the man he found with his wife, she run away but a day after he convinced her to return home for reconciliation and when she did return, he allegedly locked the house, poured fuel and thereafter lit.

“They studied together at Bishop Stuart University, and after graduation my brother told me he wanted to marry, we went to the girl’s parents in Itendero and they officially gave us the girl. They have been waiting for the wedding,” Rutoogo added.

“I received a call that my daughter was in critical condition at Mbarara Hospital, after an hour I received another call telling me the same sad news. I came at around 8:39pm and she was actually in critical condition and doctors told me they don’t expect her to regain her life, and told me the husband had already died” Fred Katabazi, Natamba’s father lamented.

“I expected a lot from my daughter, she was the first graduate in my family, and my hope was that she would support the family economically. I have developed a bad attitude towards marriage because what I expected from both my children isn’t what I’ve got,” he added.

Kasasira advised young people starting marriage to always use better means of solving their family problems than fuelling the problem which worsens things.

He told them to always engage counsellors, elders or even report their matters to Police Family Protection Unit for guidance and solutions.

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