There was chaos at Bulyansime village in Igombe Sub County in Iganga District when police stormed a wedding ceremony and foiled the marriage of a 15-year-old girl and a 22-year-old man.
The ceremony which had kicked off with excitement as the groom expected to take the bride home turned into a fiasco when police swung into action and arrested the parents and the groom.
The girl is said to have dropped out of senior two and she is currently four months pregnant.
The parents Abdu Kalimu Ngobi and Faridah Kagoya are said to have agreed to marry off their daughter to Talyaka Swaliki after getting Shs 200, 000 and a goat as bride price.
Eye witnesses told Daily Monitor that by the time police stormed the place, the bride and groom had already performed the traditional wedding ceremony locally referred to as Okuwowa and the couple was about to leave.
“The bride and groom were marching to board their waiting car amidst ululations from friends and relatives by the time police arrived. The groom had even put a ring on the bride’s finger as a symbol to confirm that they had been wedded,” Mr Ayub Famba told this reporter.
He said when police arrived, the occasion turned chaotic as relatives and revellers started running away to avoid being arrested.
Speaking to our reporter at Iganga police station, the girl said 18 years and accused police for disrupting their function.
“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,” she said.
She asked police to release her parents and the groom such that he takes care of the pregnancy.
The girl’s parents said their daughter was 18 years and had accepted to marry her off at her own request.
“The girl 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,” said Mr Ngobi.
The groom said he had been in relationship with the 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.
More drama unfolded when a group of residents stormed Iganga Police Station demanding for the suspects to be released on claims that the girl was old.
Busoga East Police Region Spokesperson, Mr James Mubi said the parents are to be charged with marrying off an underage girl while the groom is to be charged with defilement.
This is the second similar case to be registered at Iganga Police Station in a period of one month after another group of parents were arrested in Buyanga sub county for marrying off a 14-year-old girl.