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Sunday,August 09,2020 21:22 PM

Till our coffins do us part

By Vision Reporter

Added 4th November 2002 03:00 AM

UNBELIEVABLE! He has constructed two graves and bought two coffins for himself and his wife, in preparation for death

UNBELIEVABLE! He has constructed two graves and bought two coffins for himself and his wife, in preparation for death

By Ssenabulya Baagalayina

UNBELIEVABLE! He has constructed two graves and bought two coffins for himself and his wife, in preparation for death.

He says their bodies shall be put into these coffins before being carried away to the prepared graves, located behind his house.

When The New Vision spoke to Caracciolo Kabuye, 84, he justified his act. “I have to prepare for my death and that of my wife because we have had no children in life to do it for us.”

The graves, measuring 5ft wide and 4ft deep, are fully furnished. Kabuye has hired local youths to keep them tidy. In addition, he has bought 17 pairs of clean sheets that shall be used to wipe his and his wife’s bodies.

“Why should we entrust this responsibility to friends or relatives whose trust cannot be justified even in the name of the Almighty God?” Kabuye asks. “I believe trustworthy and kind people have long been replaced by grabbers and fortune hunters when others die. Their major goal is to grab the deceased’s property even when the will is clear,” he adds.

He says because of such social evils, he has made all the arrangements. “Not because I and my wife are bedridden,” he says. Kabuye and his wife have no children. Although he looks elderly, he has not given up hope of having a baby with his wife Federesi Nalwanga, 74.

Kabuye admits he has fathered some children outside marriage.

He and his wife began preparations for their deaths in 1990. He is talkative and a good debater. If you are not sure of your ground, he would defeat you in any serious argument, particularly on matters concerning religion. He is a staunch Catholic. He is one of the very few residents of Kabale-Bugonzi, Bukulula sub-county, Masaka District, who own a church in his compound. Kabuye is a retired catechist who earns a living by taking photos and selling produce cultivated on his farm.

Some residents have persistently gone to Kabuye’s home and complained about the graves, and accused him of violating a Kiganda cultural norm of building one’s grave. “Kabuye oyagala kutusera tufe tuggwewo ggwe osigale ku nsi ngoyinayina?” (Kabuye do you want to cast an evil spell on us so that we can all perish meanwhile you remain alive?) they asked.

In Buganda graves are normally prepared for a person when dead, usually done by the deceased’s relatives.

Kabuye’s villagemates insist that his graves are a curse which have already caused death to many locals since he built them. But Kabuye denies this and says his sole aim to avoid a disastrous situation on his last day.

“In fact, I am happy to notice that some other people admired my initiative and have started constructing graves for themselves. My neighbour, Selesite Gyagenda, 80, is a good example,” he says.

Till our coffins do us part

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