By Job Nantakiika
A young man is yet to get to grips with the reality that his own father snatched his wife.
The man at the centre of the drama is a Ssaalongo called Mulambuzi, and the LCI chairperson of Mpaakawero village in Bombo, Luweero district, who snatched his son’s wife and rented her a roomed house next to the victim’s twin sister!
A furious and perplexed Fred Kato, the victim, while narrating his ordeal to this reporter, swore that he at one time waylaid his father to slaughter him in revenge, but was powerless to do.
I will never understand why my own father, who I have never wronged, would seduce the love of my life, Annet Kabagasha!
Even the day I went with LC officials and found my father naked with my wife I had a knife and was determined to finish him off; I was ready to go to jail.
Kato with Annet, the cause of turmoil in the family
But the mere sight of his nudity in the same house with my wife made me powerless and I just looked at him in shock.
This drama all started in May this year. My suspicions started when Annet would accuse me off cheating on her and my father would back her.
It always surprised me that he would support her baseless accusations, but it went on until he suggested that we separate! This was something that had never crossed my mind, and here was my father seeing it as a solution.
The day we actually separated my father told my twin sister, Sylvia Nakato, to help her pack her things and told me he would facilitate her to go back to their home in Tooro.
To my surprise she spent a week at his home saying my father had not yet given her transport, sh35,000, to go home.
This was the conviction I needed; this nearly confirmed my suspicions that my father had seduced my wife right in my face.
However after a week he gave her money purportedly to go back home; it turned out, as I later discovered, that he had rented her a single room in Nkokonjeru near Bombo.
On the right is the room where Annet had her rendevous with Salongo
Annet had told me on phone that she had gone back home but would return anytime and we talk things over since I still loved her.
Following a visit to my other twin sister, Harriet Babirye, in Wobulenzi where I left late and got the urge to call Annet because I wondered when I would be seeing her again.
However while talking on phone I got suspicious; she insisted she was in Tooro but after insisting she confessed she had never left town. That evening she picked me and I spent a night at hers.
On another day she called me saying our daughter needed shoes so I had to take her money. But all the while we were together someone kept calling and for some strange reason I suspected it was my father.
That day I insisted I would spend the night at hers and so we went.
While at her place the phone kept ringing; she eventually picked the call.
I could hear the conversation clearly and without a doubt I was certain I knew that voice. My father was on the other end of the line. She even referred to the person by his pet name Akiki, my father’s pet name.
She vehemently denied it was my father, only a short while later a hand parted the old curtain in the door way and the person entered the house. There he was; my father, holding a black polyethylene bag with fish in it.
Ssalongo's home where he would leave his wife for the warmth of the younger Annet
As I sat on the stool transfixed he quickly place down what he was holding and swiftly retreated through the doorway.
This time Annet did not argue much; she confessed that she was sleeping with Ssalongo Mulambuzi, my own father.
Quietly I hoped that since the secret was out in the open my father would stop seeing her but that was not to be.
That is when decided I would slit his stomach open and watch his intestines flow out like those of a slaughtered pig.
Caught in the nude
On the evening of Monday 21 July, I saw my father hoping on a bodaboda and suspected he was going to Annet’s place.
Ssalongo and his wife
I went to see my mother and asked where he had gone; she said he had gone to attend a meeting in Wobulenzi and would not return.
I went back to my place and stood in the compound confused but also noticed my mother was unsettled. I then noticed my sister Babirye going to mother’s and now wanted to know what was going on.
I went back to mother’s and sat at the verandah till 10.00pm and bid her goodnight and left.
Just as I had tucked into bed a knock came at the door and there was my mother, in tears and sister.
“My son things are difficult,” my mother started. “Do you know that your father is at Annet’s place yet he said he was going for a meeting in Wobulenzi?” she asked as tears welled down her face.
Together we went to Nkokonjeru and saw the LCI chairman in the area Jemba, and the defence secretary Kamaanya and we went to Annet’s place. When we knocked at the door out came my father, stark naked!
We gave him time to dress up and he came out and out of earshot, had a word with the chairperson who had asked him if he knew what he was doing.
Afterwards he retreated to the house and we left. He spent the night there.
What the mother says
Kato’s mother Eva Nalwoga, says: “I am so angry! How could my children have known all this time but decided to keep quiet yet Babirye is just a neighbour to my co-wife?”
Kato twice told me tragedy would befall this family but every time I asked him he never said what.
Another time he asked me who the head of our clan was and I told him I was a Muganda so he should ask his father who is a Munyoro.
Now I know that Kato had told his elder siblings about it but they all dreaded to break it to me.
On July 21 my daughter Babirye came and said: “Mother I can stomach this anymore but do you know that at this particular hour my father is at Annet’s place?
This reminded me of two occasions when Ssaalongo lied to me that he was going to Wobulenzi for a meeting and never returned yet he was sleeping with my daughter-in-law!
When we asked Annet she said: ‘Do you remember the day I washed Ssaalongo’s trouser when it was smeared with dung?
That night Ssaalongo was sleeping in the cow shed because Kato was at mine till 1:00am and when he left Ssaalongo came in at 2:00am and I could not do anything about it.”
“It is not easy to forgive Ssaalongo because this is like losing a child whose memory only fades with time,” Nnalongo said of the embarrassment.
Kato's sister, caught in between the drama
Grace Babirye says: I always saw my father at Annet’s place but never suspected anything.
One time Annet told him my father always brought her money sent by Kato and I believed it, till he started showing up in the night.
On July 21 Annet asked me for my key to the house saying she was going to hide my father there and I also gave it to her.
She gave me the key afterwards and I went to watch a movie in the trading centre.
At about 10.00pm she came to pick the key and opened for my father. That is when I decided I had to tell my mother because everything was now confusing.
Father says sorry; but…
During a family meeting to resolve the crisis, Ssaalongo Mulambuzi said:
After three hours of talking through the whole affair my children said they were ready to forgive me.
But I have not yet spoken with Kato, whose wife I slept with.
I wronged my family and at this point I do not want to say much that could annoy them but I am asking for forgiveness.
Asked whether he would leave Annet, he gazed to the ground and said nothing.