Wednesday, August 19, 2020

150 invited guests find wedding venue empty as their contributions go missing

At least 150 guests invited to the wedding of an employee of Kahama Water Authority in Shinyanga Region, Tanzania were last Sunday, August 16 left disappointed and confused after the ceremony failed to happen due to lack of funds.

It is alleged the brother of Ehprahim Jonasi, the groom, stole the funds and escaped to an unknown destination ahead of the anticipated wedding, which was to be held at a social hall in Kahama.

Jonasi was to exchange wedding vows with Bisunga Nyabusani, an employee of Kahawa water board.

The couple had already printed invitation cards and gave them to at least 150 guests, who contributed to the wedding kitty.

One of the guests, Marco Jackson, arrived at the Niteshi social hall in Kahama at around 7am Sunday, and found the wedding venue nearly empty, with only a handful of the invited guests confused over the absence of both the groom and the bride.

“I have been here for three hours now, and there are no signs that the wedding will take place. Guests are coming and leaving almost immediately. When I asked one of my fellow wedding attendees, he told me that the ceremony has been cancelled. Why can’t the wedding organisers come out and tell us the truth?” posed Jackson as quoted by Global Publishers.

“What they have done is inappropriate. You can’t invite people to a ceremony, then cancel it on the day that the event is to take place. Worse still, fail to communicate why the function is being called off,” added Jackson.

Another disappointed guest, Zephania Kisandu, said the couple that was to wed Sunday, should refund all financial contributions made by the invitees.

“I contributed Tsh50, 000 (Ksh2,300) to their wedding kitty, used my own money as bus-fare to get here, then I am told that the wedding has been called off; and those informing me of the cancellation are not even the man and woman supposed to exchange wedding vows, but my fellow guests! That is improper. I only need a refund of my money,” said Zephania.

Another disappointed person was the event’s chief catering officer, Aziza Haji, who said she had used her money to prepare food for at least 150 guests, and that she was promised to be paid after Jonasi and Bisunga’s reception was held.

“I brought the food at 7pm Sunday evening. The bride and groom had told me to prepare a meal that would be enough for at least 150 people. It is now midnight, there are no people to be seen here. Who will eat this meal, and how will I recover the money I used on preparing this food?” posed Aziza, who revealed she risked losing Tsh850,000 (Ksh40,000).

Aziza and other invited guests later Sunday filed a report at a Kahama police station.

The wedding committee chairperson, Josephat Bukwimba, told police that the treasurer, who is the groom’s biological brother, took off with the contributed funds amounting to hundreds of thousands of shillings.

“We do not know what has befallen him. Our phone calls to him are not going through, and we do not know where he is. We have already filed a report at a Kahama police station. We apologise for inconveniencing the wedding guests, it wasn’t our wish that things pan out this way,” said Bukwimba.