A woman in eastern Uganda has been hospitalised with serious burns after her Muslim husband discovered she had converted to Christianity and set her on fire, area sources reported.
Hajara Namwase, a 32-year-old mother of three children in Kenkebu village, Budaka town, is receiving hospital treatment for third degree burns. Sources report that on 17 October, her husband, 42-year-old Musa Kalele, threw fuel and a lighted match on her.
Namwase accepted Christ on 3 May while her husband was away on a business trip in South Sudan.
She regularly attended a small group fellowship in Budaka with the friend who had introduced her to the gospel and other Christians. On 17 October, she returned home from the fellowship group to find her husband had returned from the trip to South Sudan.
“I got scared upon seeing him, because I had some gospel tracts and a small New Testament Bible which I could not hide,” Namwase told her friend, whose identity is withheld for security reasons.
Upon seeing the Bible and other Christian literature, Kalele became furious, left the room and returned with a container of fuel, she said.
“He took some bedsheets, covered them around my body and then removed me out of the house,” Namwase told her friend. “He forced me to lie down. He took the petrol, then poured it on me and thereafter took a matchbox, lit it, and the fire began burning me up.”
Her daughter alerted neighbours who rescued her and took her to Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. Namwase’s sister later arrived to help her get admitted to the hospital, and on 24 October she was transferred to a hospital in Kampala for more specialised treatment.
Relatives report that her husband has fled to South Sudan.
Namwase said she is worried about where she will stay after her release, as all her relatives are Muslims, and what will become of her children, ages four, six and nine, who have come under the care of their paternal grandmother.
Still hospitalised in Kampala, Namwase has third-degree burns on much of her body, with nerve damage and multiple red spots on her skin
Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.