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Acid victim’s family demands justicePublish Date: Mar 04, 2014
Acid victim’s family demands justice
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Relatives comforting Atim’s mother Florence Elaborot, after the van carrying Atim’s body arrived in her home. Photo by Godfrey Ojore
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By Godfrey Ojore

The family of Dorothy Atim, who died of acid burns at Mulago  Hospital on Friday, has appealed to the Judiciary for justice.

Her former lover, Andrew Francis Obirai, was charged with attempting to murder her. During the requiem mass at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Soroti town on Sunday, the family asked for an expeditious trial.

“We appeal for fair justice in this case. As Christians, we believe God will pass appropriate judgment on whoever did this.
We have no power as a family, it is only God who knows the beast behind this,” said Francis Ikabalet, Atim’s elder brother.

“If she had not been attacked, she would have not died!” Ikabalet said before breaking down in tears as hundreds of mourners also sobbed with tears rolling down their cheeks. He described his sister as a kind and loving person who was in her prime.

Atim died at the age of 30 and was working with Vision Group in Soroti town as a sales representative.

Atim was burnt with acid in their home in September last year. Last year, doctors attending to Atim said the acid affected her eyes and disfigured her other body parts.

Obirai, who later handed himself to the Police, is the prime suspect. Obirai was recently arraigned before the Soroti Chief Magistrates’ Court and charged with attempted murder. He denied the charges and was remanded to Soroti Prison.

After the attack on Atim there was a strong condemnation of the act with the Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development, Karooro Okurut, calling for stringent measures to control the sale of acid.

The Soroti mayor, Alfred Aruo, said in the recent past there had been two murder cases in Soroti town where the suspects were left scot-free.

“It is unfortunate that we have witnessed cases where perpetrators of the crimes are left free,” Aruo said, adding that Teso will not be happy if the perpetrators of Atim’s murder go unpunished.

“I appeal to the resident district commissioner, who is the chairman of the security committee in the district, to follow this case because it is unfair for murderers to butcher innocent people,” Aruo said.

Several leaders condemned the attack on Atim, describing it as an act of cowardice by people that deserve death.

“I am very sure that whoever did this will go to hell,” said the Soroti district chairman, George Michael Egunyu. He blamed the youth for abusing drugs, which he added, leads them into reckless actions.

“You should consult elders other than rushing to attack others with acid,” Egunyu said.

The retired bishop of Soroti Diocese, Dr. Charles Obaikol, appealed to the family to be strong. Atim was buried at her ancestral home in Adacar village, Usuk sub-county in Katakwi district yesterday.

Acid attacks in Uganda have increased in the recent past with Mulago National Referral Hospital receiving an average of between 15 and 20 cases yearly.

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