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03.05.2008 Crime & Punishment

Woman fined for mourning dead goat

By The Mirror
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The 59-year-old widow, Beatrice Odonkor, who was reported to have mourned the death of her goat four weeks ago has been fined by the traditional leadership of New Akrade, near Akosombo.

She was slapped with a fine of GH¢30, half crate of minerals, and half carton of beer, a bottle of foreign Schnapps, a bottle of locally made Schnapps and a sheep to pacify the gods for the unacceptable rituals.

At the palace last Sunday were the chief's representatives, namely, Abusuapanin Dankwa, Kontihene, Tufohene, Okyeame, Mmerantehene, and other members of the Akrade royal family.

Initially, she was to pay a maximum of GH¢l,000 and 10 sheep including the other items mentioned above but the authority reduced the fine when a former assembly member intervened.

The assembly member, Mr Samuel Adomako, is also a royal member of the palace but served as a senior counsellor to the widow.

She provided the cash and all the items except the sheep and Schnapps, which she is expected to provide within two weeks.

According to the Mmerantehene, Daniel D. Mensah, the whole Akrade community was disturbed when they heard the story during a newspaper review on radio and television.

Other residents, he said, were confused after reading the newspaper and seeing the story on the internet.

The Mmerantehene alleged that when Beatrice, alias Auntie B, was queried before the traditional authority, she admitted, burying and mourning the death of her goat but denied making any grand funeral as depicted by the paper.

He further claimed that the woman explained that she was mourning her goat with the reason that the death of the animal reminded her of her late husband.

Also, it made her recall the untimely death of her sister's two children and "her passion for a beloved nanny as a woman and owner".

Auntie B also allegedly told the elders that she was dressed in black from top to bottom because she was still observing the period of widowhood after her husband gave up the ghost about six months ago.

Asked why she buried the goat at the back of her house, she explained that the bad odour of the dead animal would disturb nearby residents if she sent it to the refuse dump.

The Chief, Nana Okru Kata V, condemned the action and warned all residents against carrying out such rituals.

The Mirror in its April 5, 2008 edition reported that Beatrice Odonkor, a widow, had caused a stir at New Akrade when she uncontrollably mourned the death of her goat and gave it a fitting burial.

Her children joined her in the ceremony and sang dirges to mark the death of the animal.

Beatrice was said to have wept bitterly.

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