A young mother of two in eastern Uganda sustained deep knife wounds on Easter Sunday (April 17) when her Muslim husband discovered she had converted to Christianity, sources said.
Zaina Gimbo, 26, of Sirinya B Island in Lake Victoria, Mayuge District, had put her faith in Christ on April 2, she said from her hospital bed in Bwondha.
She had kept her faith secret when she went to an Easter worship service after seeing her husband, Jamiru Mwima, leave to catch fish on April 17 for their fishing business, she said.
“It was a wonderful celebration,” Gimbo said. “At about 1 p.m., I went home not knowing that he had come back. I came back with a lot of joy, singing Christian songs that I had learned in the church.”
She was carrying her Bible, she said. Her 4-year-old boy was at his grandmother’s house, and a friend was caring for her 5-year-old daughter.
“Immediately the door opened, and there and then my husband came out very furious,” Gimbo said.
Mwima grabbed her hand and asked her many questions about her faith, which she did not answer, she said.
“My husband beat and cut me with a long knife,” Gimbo said. “I made an alarm that brought many people who came and disarmed him. I fell down bleeding seriously and lost my conscious.”
She sustained deep wounds to her face, head and back, and bruises on her hand, she said.
Christian friends took her to a hospital in Bwondha, where she was recovering.
Friends reported the assault to police, but Mwima has disappeared. Police were searching for him to answer for charges of assault.
Local council leaders have condemned the attack, the area chairperson said.
Married in 2016, Gimbo and Mwima sold their fish to a businesswoman in Iganga town who had put her faith in Christ in 2017. Gimbo would bring her husband’s catch to the businesswoman, whose name is withheld for security reasons.
The Christian businesswoman did not disclose her faith to Gimbo until March 27, the buyer said.
“I had been learning the new faith of Christianity first as well as building up relationship with Gimbo,” she said. “I started sharing Christ with her and, after a week, on April 2, she embraced the Christian faith. Every time she brought fish, we were able to have few hours sharing about Christianity.”
After accepting Christ on April 2, Gimbo read her Bible and visited church services while her husband went fishing, she said.
Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.