Pictured is Judith, a widow who was helped to recover her matrimonial home and land that had been taken over by her own son, Andrew. Judith has four biological children but also raised two step sons who were very instrumental in helping her access justice and medical care after being evicted from her home by Andrew.
Judith lost her husband in 2008 who left behind a long-standing dispute with their biological son, Andrew who kept cultivating their land without their consent. Several clan meetings were convened to resolve the conflict but to no avail. When Andrew’s father passed on, he connived with clan leaders who intermeddled in the deceased’s estate by forging minutes of one of the clan meetings claiming that the deceased had left land comprising the matrimonial home and gardens to him. As a result, Judith was left with a house and a small piece of land to cultivate. Andrew additionally denied Judith (his mother) access to her gardens, subjected her to a lot of psychological, verbal and emotional violence to the extent of always reminding her that he would take over her home upon her demise.
As a result of the violence, Judith developed high blood pressure and she was in and out of hospital until one of her daughters took her to her home in Nyahuka where she lived for 9 years. Andrew took advantage of his mother’s departure and took over the remaining land, denying both the mother and siblings access. The matter was reported to JCU Bundibugyo in 2021 and a mediation invitation was issued to Andrew. As soon as he received it, he vacated his mother’s home but refused to hand her back the land. He also refused to turn up for mediation until a Notice of Intention to sue was issued and a locus mediation conducted at the home. During the locus mediation, it was discovered that Andrew wanted to stress his mother as he had done the father so that she would also die leaving him in control of the property.
Upon sensitization on the law on succession and the rights of widows, children and their respective interests, Andrew agreed to vacate both the land and home. Judith’s daughter, Suzan, later constructed for her a better house on the land, which she moved into in January 2022. Judith was later assisted by JCU to draft a will to help with administration of the property upon her demise and to also avoid future conflict.