I was worried that I may never come back to my home or even maintain my children and husband’s graveyard - Justice Centres Uganda

I was worried that I may never come back to my home or even maintain my children and husband’s graveyard

This is 80-year-old Biira who suffered at the hands of her stepson Benson who was forcefully evicting her from her late husband’s home. Biira was legally married to Philip (deceased) and had four children who all sadly died. Philip however had other children one of whom is the administrator of Philip’s estate (Benson). However upon being appointed administrator, Benson chased Biira from her matrimonial home moreover using a will which didn’t have the testator’s signature and wasn’t attested against the widow because he was the sole beneficiary in it. Benson also had letters of administration but he wasn’t willing to give anything to Biira.

Biira had moved to several offices including the Child and Family Protection Unit at Kasese Central Police Station and the Probation Officer but failed to get help because Benson wasn’t cooperative. The Probation Officer then sent Biira to JCU Kasese for assistance. Before the mediation date, Benson came to office with a view of not settling the dispute and he was then taught about Marriage and Administration of Estates. He stubbornly refused to distribute and give Biira her share, he chased her away from her home and denied her access to the graveyard where her children are buried.

A JCU advocate persisted and explained the laws related to a valid Will and administration of estate when a will is found to be invalid. In the end, Benson understood his role as administrator and the fact that Biira was the rightful widow. He then gave her land situated in Rwenguhya 1 village, Kasese district measuring approximately one acre. Biira also received part of the land on the graveyard.

A 50fit by 100fit piece was left intact for the benefit of all the beneficiaries including Biira. Benson also agreed that since Biira is his father’s Widow, she should come back to her matrimonial home and settle, promising never to disturb her and an MOU was signed to that effect