NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – A Muslim in eastern Uganda who last week attacked his wife for becoming a Christian had told a judge that Islam allows him to kill any apostate, sources said.
Having moved to another village with their four children following an attack last year, Ntende Hawa, 38, said she was visiting her estranged husband to discuss child support on April 4. Her husband, Dapharah Mumpi, was living at the couple’s home with his younger brother in Kachomo village in Budaka District, about 130 miles northeast of Kampala.
After they had discussed help for their children and Mumpi’s brother had gone to bed at about 9 p.m., he began to question his wife about her faith as he had when he attacked her last year, Hawa said.
“Again I answered him that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and he took a panga [machete 16 to 18 inches long], but I managed to get hold of him before he could hit me, so the panga dropped, and he started strangling me,” she said. “His younger brother woke up and rescued me. I then managed to escape.”
Hawa began her journey to Christ after a Christian friend invited her to an evangelistic event in August 2014. Without her husband’s knowledge, she managed to attend two days of the three-day event. A week later, she visited her friend, whose name is withheld for security reasons, and decided to follow Jesus.
Her husband became suspicious last year and asked her if she had become a Christian. Hawa said she could not deny it.
“My husband shouted, ‘Allah Akbar [God is greater],’ then he took a blunt object and hit me on my left hand,” she said. “I cried for help, and neighbors arrived and saved my life. I then slept at a neighbor’s house with my four children that very night.”
Hawa reported the assault to police at the Kaderuna police station on May 6, 2015, and Mumpi was summoned for questioning. Appearing later before a judge, he showed no remorse, Hawa said, as he told the magistrate, “I cannot live with the kafir (infidel) in my house, unless she returns back to my religion. If not, I will not stop hunting for her life, because our Holy Koran allows us to kill any apostate from Islam.”
Upon hearing Mumpi’s statement, the judge on May 20, 2015 sent him to jail for 14 days. Appearing before the court for a later hearing, Mumpi spoke the same message and was taken back to jail, a source said.
“Later it was alleged that his relatives came and bribed the court, and he was set free,” the source said.
Islamic scholars say death for apostates from Islam is not explicitly stated in the Koran (as it is for “infidels”), but, based on the Hadith (early writings of the words and deeds of Muhammad), traditionally Islamic law has prescribed the death penalty for Muslims who commit apostasy.
Hawa had visited Mumpi last week after in-laws indicated that he was willing to talk about helping to support their children, ages 2, 4, 6 and 10. During her talk with her husband, he indicated a willingness to help with school fees and other child-rearing costs before asking about her faith.
“My marriage with him is now over,” she said. “I cannot go back to Islam. The burden to raise up the children is on my shoulders. I need prayers at this difficult moment.”
About 85 percent of the people in Uganda are Christian and 11 percent Muslim, with some eastern areas having large Muslim populations. The country’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another.
Other Christians in eastern Uganda have had serious problems with Muslim relatives and radical Islamists. Threats from hard-line Muslims and the rape of her 13-year-old daughter forced a Christian mother of five children to flee their village in eastern Uganda last month, sources said. Amina Napiya, a 42-year-old widow, fled her home in Nakajete village, Budaka Town Council, on March 16.
Napiya and her five children fled after receiving a text message that the family would be killed for leaving Islam, she said. Napiya’s daughter was raped on Feb. 25 while fetching firewood a kilometer from their home at about 4:30 p.m., the widow said. Napiya believes relatives may have hired Taika Suleiman, arrested in connection with the alleged rape, to assault her daughter because of their faith, as her daughter told her that the rapist said, “This is the second warning to your mother for disgracing the faith of the Muslims.”
On Jan. 10, relatives of Abdu Nsera, a recent high school graduate in Katende village near Busede, Jinja District, beat him after finding out he had left Islam to become a Christian. They burned down a house they had built for him and have been searching for him after he fled.
On Jan. 27 in Numuseru village, Naboa Sub-County in Budaka District, the body of Laurence Maiso was found at his house, his head in a pool of blood. Four days earlier, Imam Kamulali Hussein had met him and his wife on a local road and told him, “Allah is about to send to you the Angel of Death in your house. Please prepare to meet him at any time.”
On Dec. 23, 2015, a pastor in eastern Uganda was hacked to death as he and other church members resisted an effort by Muslims to take over their land in Nansololo village near Mazuba, in Namutumba District, area church leaders said. Pastor Bongo Martin is survived by a widow and two children.
In another area of eastern Uganda, five underground Christians in a predominantly Muslim village, including a pregnant mother, died from a pesticide put into their food after a Bible study on Dec. 18, area sources said. The Bible study took place in Kachomo village, Kachomo Sub-County, Budaka District at the home of Hajii Suleiman Sajjabi, a convert from Islam who had begun the study with eight family members who had come to faith in Christ under his influence.
Four of Sajjabi’s relatives have died, as did a pregnant neighbor, according to area sources. A doctor at Mbale Regional Hospital said a postmortem test showed a substance known as Malathion, a low-toxicity pesticide, in those who had died. Though low-level toxic, Malathion when ingested quickly metabolizes into highly toxic Tomalaoxon.
Islamic extremists in eastern Uganda on Dec. 8 set a deadly trap for a Christian policeman who had left Islam, and the next day other hard-line Muslims kidnapped three children from another convert in a nearby village. More than 20 Muslim extremists in the Komodo area of Kadama Sub-County, Kibuku District, killed officer Ismail Kuloba at about 4 p.m. after he responded to an urgent call to intervene in a supposed land dispute between warring parties, an area Christian told Morning Star News. Kuloba was 43.
One of the assailants, Mudangha Kasimu, threw a stone that hit Kuloba in the forehead. Kasimu then shot him twice in the head, and he died as other Muslims were shouting, ‘Allah Akbar [God is greater],’” sources said.
About 12 miles east in Kabuna, near Budaka in Kaderuna District, a group of Muslim men from Palissa on Dec. 9 kidnapped three children of Madengho Badir, a Christian convert from Islam, sources said. Badir, 42, arrived at his home in Kabuna Sub-County, Kabuna parish, at 10 p.m. to find 5-year-old Nabukwasi Shakira, 7-year-old Gessa Amuza and 10-year-old Wagti Musitafa missing.
An area source said a 14-year-old boy from Kabuna, Karami Hassan, was with Badir’s three children when they were abducted near their home. The boy said a group of Muslims from Palissa were looking for Badir, and the boy led them to Badir’s children.
Outside of Kabeshai, near Palissa, a Christian father of five who supported 10 children whose families had disowned them for leaving Islam was killed on Dec. 2. One of three men who attacked Patrick Ojangole reproached him for failing to heed a warning to cease his Christian activities before the Christian was killed, said a witness who was with Ojangole and escaped. Ojangole was 43.
On Nov. 12, the father of a young Muslim woman in east Uganda tried to beat her to death after she became a Christian, but community leaders intervened and limited him to disowning her, sources said. Kibida Muyemba learned that his 21-year-old daughter, Namusisi Birye, had put her faith in Christ at an evangelistic campaign held that day in Nandere village, Kadama Sub-County, Kibuku District, 41 kilometers (25 miles) west of Mbale, church leaders told Morning Star News. Birye and a man in the traditional dress of an imam confessed openly to receiving Christ, they said, and angry Muslims cut the event short.
On Oct. 19, 2015, Muslims in Kalampete village, Kibuku District who were angry at a Christian for leaving Islam killed his wife, a month after his brother was killed for the same reason.
Mamwikomba Mwanika, mother of three adult children and five others ranging in age from 17 to 9, died en route to a hospital after Muslims unknown to her dragged her from her home at about 9 p.m. and assaulted her, survivors said.
Her husband’s brother, Samson Nfunyeku, was killed in the village on Sept. 23 after flaring tempers cut short a religious debate he’d had with Islamic scholars.
In Nsinze village, Namutumba District, a Muslim beat and left for dead his wife and 18-year-old son on Aug. 11 after learning they had converted to Christianity, area sources said. Issa Kasoono beat and strangled his wife, Jafalan Kadondi, but she survived, said a source who requested anonymity. He said other relatives joined Kasoono in beating her and their two sons, Ibrahim Kasoono, 18, and Ismael Feruza, 16, though the younger son managed to escape with only bruises on his arm.
The wife of a former sheikh was poisoned to death on June 17, 2015 after she and her husband put their faith in Christ in Nabuli village, Kibuku District. Namumbeiza Swabura was the mother of 11 children, including a 5-month-old baby.
In Kiryolo, Kaderuna Sub-County, Budaka District on March 28, 2015, five Muslims gang-raped the 17-year-old daughter of a pastor because the church leader ignored their warnings that he stop worship services, she said.