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Budaka: Widow poisoned for leaving Islam to follow Jesus, survives

Village officials in eastern Uganda question Taaka Hajira, who confessed to poisoning her Christian neighbor. (Morning Star News)

Residents and officials in Gayaza village, Kabuna Sub-County, Budaka District were on Christmas left in shock when a woman, Taaka Hajira, publicly confessed to poisoning a Christian mother of five, Nafamba Bongo Madina who left Islam two years ago.

Hajira, accused of intending to kill Madina and her family members, said that since she [Madina] and her family left Islam, the loudness of their weekly worship at their house with some other church members had been disturbing her and other Muslim neighbors.

“Hajira’s house is about 100 yards from Madina’s,” according to persecution watchdog, Morning Star News, that reported the incident on January 4.

The poisoning came after Hajira with a Muslim neighbor visited Madina on Christmas morning with gifts of sugar, salt, soap, matchboxes, groundnuts and cooking oil.

When the lunch hour approached, Madina began preparing some food with the oil she had received.

Before serving lunch to family members, including an in-law unnamed for security reasons, she first tasted the food. Within minutes she began vomiting.

“When she started screaming and was continuously vomiting, I called in a taxi and rushed her to Kabuna dispensary, where it was found that she had been poisoned,” the in-law told Morning Star News.

Madina was treated and discharged after spending a night in the health center.

After she returned, Madina’s relatives took the cooking oil to the center for analysis, where it was found to contain poison, the relative said.

The chairman of Gavaza village, John Guloba, urgently convened an 8 a.m. meeting on Dec. 28, where he questioned Hajira. She confirmed that she had taken the gifts to Madina, including the poisoned cooking oil, the in-law said. Another Gavaza official present, Laaka Bison, confirmed to Morning Star News that Hajira confessed.

Hajira asked for forgiveness, the source reported. Chairman Guloba, a Christian, expressed his shock at what could have befallen Hajira’s family, but village leaders made no legal decisions.

Police have not been called, apparently in order to keep tensions with the Muslim community from escalating, but the in-law said Muslim neighbors have started taunting Madina’s children by calling them infidels.

“I know this is meant at provoking my family, with an intention of causing harm to us,” Madina said.

Madina’s husband died shortly after leaving Islam and placing his faith in Christ two years ago, leaving her and her children, now ages 14, 12, 10, 7 and 5.

By Paul W Dennis.

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