Police in in Uganda recently stopped a wedding involving a supposed 14-year-old girl. According to local media reports, the officers stormed a wedding ceremony and foiled the marriage of the teen to a 22-year-old man.
The girl who's a secondary school dropout, is currently four months pregnant. Her parents Abdu Kalimu Ngobi (pictured left) and Faridah Kagoya are said to have agreed to marry off their daughter to the man, Talyaka Swaliki (pictured right) after getting Shs 200, 000 and a goat as bride price. Eyewitnesses claim that the Police arrived after the traditional wedding ceremony was over. The groom was expected to take the bride home but police stormed the place just as they were about to leave. Relatives and guests reportedly scampered for safety to avoid being arrested.
Interestingly, the bride denied she was underage and claimed to be 18-year-old. She also accused police at the station for disrupting her wedding, saying; “I am not young and I don’t know why police disrupted our function. I love my husband and. I asked my parents’ permission to get married.”
The girl’s parents also insisted that the daughter was 18 years and had accepted to marry her off at her own request. “She dropped out of school and told us that she wanted to get married to the man who was responsible for her pregnancy and as a Muslim, I had no objection,” her father, Mr Ngobi said.
The groom also said he had been in relationship with the supposed underage girl for two years.
“Her parents asked for a bride price of Shs 200,000, a goat and two gomesi which I paid. They didn’t tell me that she was young,” said the groom.
Although a group of residents later stormed the Police Station demanding for the suspects to be released, the Police have confirmed that the parents are to be charged with marrying off an underage girl while the groom is to be charged with defilement.