A marriage between an underage 14-year-old girl and her prospective groom who is seven years her senior was foiled over the weekend by the Ugandan police.
The ‘bride’ who was clad in her wedding dress with her veil and bouquet of flowers is said to be four months pregnant and a school drop out. The groom confirmed to police that they had been in the relationship for over two years.
The groom confirmed to police that they had been in the relationship for over two years.
The intending couple had all but finished the marital rites referred to in local parlance as the Okuwowa and were about leaving the venue of the event when the police moved in.
The place turned chaotic as friends and family fled for fear of being arrested, while the girl’s parents and the groom were arrested.
During an interrogation at the police station, the girl, however, denied she was underage, insisting instead that she was 18 years old and accused the police of disrupting their function.
She said; “I am not young and I do not know why the police disrupted our function. I love my husband and I asked my parents’ permission to get married.”
Insisting that their daughter is indeed 18 years, the girls’ parents also confirmed that they gave their consent for the marriage.
Her father, Mr. Ngobi said she dropped out of school and told them that she wanted to get married to the man who was responsible for her pregnancy and as a Muslim, he had to oblige.
The groom who said he had been in a relationship with the supposed underage girl for two years, adds that he paid the bride price of 200,000 shillings ($55), a goat and other demands that were made of him.
The Regional Police 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.