TWO people including a former councilor are in the police custody to help the police in investigations into the mysterious gruesome murder of a local businessman from Aromo sub county, Erute North Constituency in Lira district.

The arrest was after residents took the law in their hands and lynched Susan Acen, 37 accusing her of being behind the death of her husband Robert Odongo,54 commonly known as “Odongo Opac” whose lifeless mutilated body was recovered from under his marital bed.

Residents suspected that Acen connived with some people to bump off the husband over yet to be established agenda.

The shocking incident happened on the night of Wednesday 17th April, 2024.

The councilor has been identified as Bonny Omara while the second suspect was identified as Rachel Auma the daughter of the suspected killer wife Susan Adongo who was lynched by an irate mob.

Sources say Bonny Omara was spotted at a clinic with some injuries which he failed to explain the cause.

Residents also became concerned that the former councilor did not identify with them nor reach the home of the deceased who was known and liked as a peaceful person.

It’s suspected that the former councilor was having an affair with Susan Acen.

This is seen as part of the increasing rates of Gender Based Violence(GBV)in the Lango sub region causing concern among activists, religious and cultural leaders who must work closely with the Justice Law and Order Sector(JLOS).

JLOS is a sector wide approach that has been adopted in 1999 by the government bringing together 18 institutions with closely linked mandates of administering justice and maintaining law and order as well as the promotion of human rights.

Susan Acen


Reports say a small boy (a nephew) who was being supported by the deceased was the first to alert residents after sighting the mangled body in a sack under the bed.

After hearing the distress alarm from the boy, one of the residents identified as Emmanuel Odongtoo rushed to the home purportedly to seek some soft loan from the deceased but the wife Susan Acen said the husband was not around.

This raised the level of concern, prompting Odongtoo to force his way into the house and proved that indeed their ‘mayor’ had died under a suspicious circumstance.

The now frantic Acen, who hitherto was calmly taking breakfast, took off in an effort to escape justice but was intercepted by some patriotic citizens who whisked her to the sub county police post to avoid mob justice.

However, the irate mob overpowered the slimy deployed police personnel with only one AK47 rifle and pulled out the suspected killer woman whom they stoned to death in front of the police cell.

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She was the second wife and in most Lango settings, second wives are always more loved because they are younger and tend to offer better love and care to out-compete the elderly and tired first wives who find more solace in their grown-up children than the ever-hunting husbands.

According to the Senior Assistant Secretary (Sub County Chief) Aromo Sub County, Denis Odur-Oremo, the now deceased couple had a troubled marriage characterized by accusation of infidelity.

Denis Odur-Oremo, in a telephone interview tells Watchdog Uganda, that Robert Odongo was a very peaceful man who spent most of his time carrying out his goat business and supporting locals with some cash as start-up capital.

At the time of his death, Odur-Oremo says the deceased had just returned from a business trip which means he had some good amount of cash with him, something detectives will have to dig into as one of the possible motives.

Women Activists Speak:

According to Flavia Apollo who serves as the Project Officer Women Leadership Development, an indigenous Lira-based NGO operating in the region, many women are suffering silently in their marriages because of the negative attitude the community have towards single mothers or divorced women.

Apollo Flavia whose organization offered training to a number of women describes Susan Adong (RIP) as a very humble and lively lady but was quick to wonder what provoked her to kill the husband.

“…it’s always good to control your temper, no matter the level of anger, so my appeal to couples is to always seek counseling from elders and experts or temporarily withdraw…”Flavia Apollo appeals.

Another woman identified herself only as “Patricia Jerusalem” condemned the murder of the man by the wife, attributing the incident to ‘demon’ saying a normal and spirit-filled woman cannot kill the husband.

“…we need and must co-exist with each other, a man cannot succeed alone just like a woman cannot be happy alone, this is how God created and designed human beings…”she pleaded.

The incident generated a lot debate from social platforms (WhatsApp) like Kole district Development Forum, Lango Onotte 2016,Lango Development Agenda,Tekwaro Lango and Greater Lango Elders Development Forum, among others where members blamed it on a breakdown of social fibre and moral degeneration in the region.

What You Need To Know:

Robert Odongo was also the LC1 chairperson for Aromo Town Board in Lira District where he was referred to as “Mayor”, a title bestowed to him by residents for his generosity and good conduct.

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He was also the Political Assistant for the MP Erute North Christine Akello (‘Gwokadako’) for Aromo Sub County. He was also the chairperson Aromo Health Centre III Management Board.

Gender Based Violence (GVB):

GVB is violence against a person because of that person’s gender or violence that affects persons of a particular gender disproportionately.

GVB is defined as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private.

Estimates published by the World Health Organization (WHO) indicate that globally 30 %( 1 out of 3) women and girls worldwide have been subjected to either physical and/or intimate sexual partner violence or non partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

According to the Uganda Population based HIV Impact Assessment (UPHIA) 2016, Uganda has a high prevalence of GVB 22% among women of 15 to 49 years.

This violence is more prevalent in the rural and poorer parts of the country where women are also culturally discriminated against while their level of education and access to information is also minimal.

By region, economic violence is highest in the Lango sub region with 80% and least in the Acholi sub region.

Mob Justice:

It’s a form of extrajudicial punishment or retribution in which a person suspected of a crime or wrongdoing is typically humiliated, beaten by a group of people or an irate crowd with stones, bricks, clubs and machetes or anything they can lay their hands on.

In most cases the alleged criminal dies in the process due to excessive beating or they are set on fire using old car tires and fuel (petrol).

In Uganda mob justice is a criminal and punishable offence since it takes away the rights of an accused, who is deemed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law.

Cases of mob justice in Lango are causing concern among locals who blame them on corruption in the police where cases are mismanaged forcing the courts to dismiss cases because of lack of evidence.

Some people view mob justice as a sign of a social protest against the state organs to uphold its democratic principles and rights as enshrined in the constitution to protect the citizens.

The post Two in police custody over gruesome murder of Lira businessman  appeared first on Watchdog Uganda.


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