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Butaleja man with 12 wives, 567 grand-children cries out for help

Believed to be Butaleja District's most polygamous man, Musa Hasahya boasts a family of 12 wives, 102 children and 567 grandchildren all scattered in a single compound and housed under one roof. He has cried out for help saying the big family has become a 'big burden'.

Butaleja man with 12 wives, 567 grand-children cries out for help

Hasahya is a resident of Bugisa Cell in Busaba Town Council where he's the chairperson and head of the Busaba Sub-County Hunters Association. He has also been a businessman for the past two decades and a hard-working father according to residents.

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However, Hasahya has conceded "defeat" and vowed to not have anymore children. At the moment, he is asking for help to educate them. The most educated of them is in Senior six and two others are in Senior five. The three are under sponsorship from a Muslim community.

“I cannot tolerate bearing children anymore because of the limited resources and on that note, I have advised all my wives of childbearing age to go for family planning. I also discourage those who wish to marry more than four wives not to do so because things are not good,” Hasahya said.

He also asked for better housing to comfortably house all his wives.

In 1971, having dropped out of school in Primary six at age 16, Hasahya married Hanifa Hasahya. Two years later they were blessed with their first daughter.

At the time, because he was doing well for himself, "I decided to expand my family by marrying more women. I ensured that hoes are provided for each of them to till the land and produce food enough to support the family since the soils are fertile," he said.

Hasahya currently has 160 acres of land after he purchased more on top of the portion his late father Mwamadi Mudumba, left him.

According to neighbours, Hasahya has put his land and oxen to good use to feed his family. He uses the oxen to clear the land, thereafter, his wives and children to plant or weed the crops under his supervision and command.

His favourite crops include potatoes, cassava, maize, rice and sorghum but there has not been surplus, after feeding the family, to sell and educate the young ones.

To make matters worse, the family has outgrown the resources he is able to sustain and food production has started to dwindle.

His home recently suffered a loss when two of his wives fled due to mounting economic pressure. The two left behind 10 children. Of the 102 children, only 98 are still alive. The youngest child is aged six and 35 of his sons are married with children.

The living condition is set up in a way that each window in the house is fashioned into a bedroom for each woman. Each woman has a separate kitchen under the same roof and they are strategically planned for easy monitoring of their activities.

The community has supported him, a borehole was drilled in his compound to save the young ones from travelling long distances for water.

Hasahya has allocated three acres of land to each woman with her children and the rest of the land is reserved for himself and his daughters who might face trouble in their marriages. However, he says that he cannot allocate land to his sons for fear that they may end up selling it. He said that he has trained them to work hard and acquire their own land.

The Local Council I general secretary, Twaha Longhiro, said "being a former administrator, the man is tough and strict on discipline. He doesn’t tolerate any kind of queer behaviour in his family" about Hasahya's family being one of the homesteads with the best-raised children.

His wife, Hanifa Hasahya called him a lovely, patient and wise man who cares for their needs and always offers counselling for whoever goes astray.

Hasahya, has asked Good Samaritans and the government to help him in educating some of his children.

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