The term “untimely death” is often used in obituaries to express shock at the unexpected death of a person, typically a young person. For most of the people who cherish life, the term “untimely death” is an oxymoron. Surely, there is no such thing as a “good” or “appropriate” time to die; unless one is timing the death of a victim such that one could get away with murder.
Ours is a society that is still grappling with issues of sexuality; from cultural taboos to religious sins, from street gossip to tabloid slander, from urban legends to misinformation on STI’s – the topic of sex often produces convoluted thinking, sheepish fascination and shy reticence; the kind of stupidity that enables the abuse of human rights. What better way to deflect attention away from murder, than to execute murder during sex?
In April 2010, a young lady allegedly died during sexual intercourse. However, the young lady’s relatives were not satisfied with the investigations into the circumstances surrounding her death, expressing dissatisfaction with the inertia and prudish manner with which the investigation had been conducted. The young lady’s burdened relatives realized that in order to get a satisfactory investigation underway, they would have to escalate the issue to the much respected Uganda Association of Women Lawyers, FIDA Uganda.
When a local tabloid learned of the young lady’s death, they chose to make money at the expense of her dignity. The headline “City Auditor Raped to Death by Lover” hit the streets of Kampala; pedestrians huddled around stalls, stared at the headline in amusement and tiptoed their way around the tabloids scattered across pavements as vendors enjoyed quick sales. The public hungrily consumed the story as it was presented to them; a macho man gave a needy woman more than she had bargained for, resulting in death from extreme pleasure.
The impunity with which our local media insults the dignity of women is overwhelming; the intensity and frequency with which women are depicted as sex objects is totally unacceptable. The manner in which our society consistently turns a blind eye to the media’s blatant abuse of women, would be the same manner in which a murderer could get away with murdering a young lady during sex; lending credence to the concerns of the young lady’s relatives.
FIDA Uganda decided to take control of the situation, ordering a post mortem to be carried out. Despite meeting awkward resistance, FIDA Uganda will not rest until a full investigation has been carried out and all possibilities of foul play have been ruled out. As a strong association of courageous women lawyers, FIDA Uganda continues to boldly pursue justice for women, regardless of the hurdles encountered.