In a shocking incident in western Uganda, a Muslim man reportedly left his wife in a perilous situation within a national park after discovering her conversion to Christianity.
Sharifa Muhando, a 27-year-old resident of Kasese town, shared her harrowing experience, stating that her husband, Musa Bwambale, physically abused her and withheld food for an entire week upon learning about her faith in Christ. Despite having accepted Christianity on July 9, 2021, Muhando had kept her religious beliefs concealed from her husband and other relatives.
According to Muhando, the distressing incident occurred on the evening of May 10. After praying in her room, reading from her Bible, and subsequently falling asleep, she inadvertently left the door ajar. When Bwambale returned from work and discovered her with the Bible and a notebook resting on her chest, he erupted in anger, shouting “Allah Akbar” (God is greater). Startled awake by the jihadist slogan, Muhando found herself confronted by her enraged husband.
In her words “Unfortunately I left the door open,” Muhando told Morning Star News from her hospital bed. “My husband came back from his place of work and called me, and I didn’t respond because I was deep in sleep. He opened the door and found me with my Bible and a notebook on my chest. He shouted, ‘Allah Akbar [God is greater]!’”
Fear gripped Muhando as she recounted the encounter. “I was terrified after seeing him; he asked me what the matter was,” she recalled from her hospital bed. “I answered him that this is a holy book. He got annoyed and beat me that night and told me that he was punishing me for leaving Islam, and that he will automatically be rewarded in Jannah [paradise] by Allah.”
Following the assault, Bwambale deprived Muhando of food and issued threats to her life should she disclose the incident. After enduring two days without sustenance, he made a chilling decision. On May 17, Bwambale took Muhando to the nearby Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Muhando shared the details of her abandonment in the national park. “My husband said he had received a dream from Allah of taking me somewhere,” she revealed. “He took me on his vehicle and dumped me inside Queen Elizabeth National Park to be eaten by wild animals.”
Fortunately, Muhando’s plight took an unexpected turn when a pastor from the church she had been attending in secret happened to pass by on the main road bordering the unfenced park. Witnessing her distress, the pastor immediately summoned help, and together they rescued Muhando, rushing her to a nearby medical clinic.
“Sharifa’s health was in a bad state,” the pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons, shared. “and she has been undergoing treatment while suffering from injuries – her spleen especially was affected, as her husband hit her with a blunt object, and she has pain around the neck. The doctors are also treating her for starvation and trauma-related symptoms.”
As the pastor prepared to report the incident to the police, he received shocking news: Bwambale had died in a tragic traffic accident. Presently, Sharifa Muhando is in need of prayers for her swift recovery from the physical and emotional trauma she has endured, as well as guidance for her future.
This distressing incident adds to the long list of documented cases of persecution faced by Christians in Uganda, as reported by Morning Star News. Despite constitutional and legal provisions protecting religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert to different religions, instances of religious intolerance persist. Muslims constitute less than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with higher concentrations found in the eastern regions of the country.
The ordeal of Sharifa Muhando serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by individuals who choose to exercise their freedom of religion. This incident underscores the urgent need for increased awareness, dialogue, and efforts to promote tolerance and respect for religious diversity in societies worldwide.