“Almost immediately following the death of her husband, she fell very ill in the midst of tussle between her and her in-laws, who wanted her out of the property she lived in. She endured this predicament without any help to get treatment. Her adversaries were intent on acquiring the property and selling it and that’s when she came to me, asking me to help facilitate the sale of part of the land on which her house was to help her afford treatment which I accepted;
“So we found a buyer and they agreed that, he would pay her in installments and that’s how she was able to get medical attention and food. At this point, her in-laws returned with heightened intent,”
These are the words of Iddi Dotto, the local neighbourhood chair at Bugambelele village just outside Shinyanga, when he described his involvement in the case of Ashura Salamba, who recently won the right to her matrimonial property.
Ashura told us outside her home that, after marrying off two of her children her now late husband told her that, he wanted to buy a plot of land and build another house and add some sort of spice to their life as he called it.
“When our house was almost complete he called me in, and said that, there are no guarantees in life; either of us could pass away first, and you don’t know what might happen to the things we own, why shouldn’t we take pictures of the house and the plot in front of it in case they will be needed as proof somewhere?” she said.
Selling part of the plot in front of the house caused her in-laws to file a case against her at the primary court accusing her of selling off her step children’s inheritance. The fact that her husband’s death left her destitute didn’t arouse pity from her in-laws she said.