A 65-year-old widow in Kitgum district is nursing severe body
injuries after she was tortured by her clan members for allegedly practicing
Regina Aparo, a herbalist and resident of Wang Lango village in Akobi
parish in Omiya Anyima Sub County was reportedly caned by youth a week ago on
orders of the Kopir clan Chairperson, Calvin Okoya.
Aparo says that Okoya mobilized locals in the village against her after an
anonymous individual reported to him that she prepares concoctions of poisonous
She notes that without being given a fair hearing, the clan elder ordered the youth
to tie her hands and legs before caning her in front of locals on allegations
that she could be behind some mysterious death of locals in the community.
Aparo says she was caned several times resulting into injuries on her buttocks,
back, legs and hands adding that she was later dumped at Omiya Anyima Police
post minus any medical treatment.
//cue in “Won kom ma…
Cue out:…meno pe odo.”//
Translation “…Our clan leader got a report from someone who reported to him
that I have poisonous herbs. Rather than making an effort to understand the
gist of the allegations, he instead mobilized many people and ordered for my
caning so that I reveal the poisonous herbs which I didn't have, they tied my
hands and caned me severely, I can’t even sit now…”
According to Aparo, the clan members after beating her raided her
home and looted five sacks of groundnuts and maize and four chicken which she
had anticipated to sell.
//cue in: “jami na ki…
Cue out:…dong otweya ko.”//
Translation “…All my property have been looted yet I'm a widow and HIV
positive, they stole five sacks of maize, groundnuts and four chicken from my
house. If the clan leader wanted to help me as a widow and that I committed any
crime, I should have been subjected to lawful procedures so that I am jailed…”
Aparo who has been transferred to Kitgum Central Police station
detention cells says she is in pain and now afraid to back to her home fearing
she might be killed.
Efforts to get comments from Okoya were futile as his known phone number wasn’t
available by press time.
Emily Afoyocan, Kitgum Central Police Station Community Liaison Officer
condemned the steps taken by the clan leader and locals in the area to torture
She notes that although police are investigating the allegations raised by the
clan leader, the same complainants have committed an offence by taking the law
into their hands and will be charged with torture and theft.
“Even if the woman had committed a crime, they had no right to subject her to
torture by tying her hands, legs before canning her in front of her children
and confiscating her properties, that was so inhuman,” Afoyocan said.
Afoyocan notes that police have already contacted the complainants to appear
The Prevention and Prohibition of Torture Act of 2012, Article 24 provides that
no person shall be subjected to any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment or punishment.
Under section 4 (1) of The Prevention And Prohibition of Torture Act, 2012, the
maximum punishment for the offence of Torture is fifteen years or a fine of
three hundred and sixty currency points or both.