LIRA, Uganda — They say you can’t take it with you, but don’t tell Charles Obong.
The recently-deceased Ugandan government official instructed relatives to bury him with $55,000 in cash to offer to God for his sins.
Uganda’s Daily Monitor newspaper reports that Obong, who served for 10 years as a public service officer, died from a long illness on Dec. 17 and was buried in his ancestral village in the country’s north.
While Obong didn’t specify in his will what sins he was seeking to atone for, the public service ministry has been engulfed in a pension scandal in which $71 million has gone missing and three top officials have been found guilty of fraud.
Obong, who was 52 when he died, instructed his wife, Margaret, to place the cash in his steel-lined coffin and that his brother and sister make sure she followed his will to the letter, the paper reported.
His plans went awry on Jan. 7, when members of his clan exhumed his coffin and removed the cash after Obong’s widow confessed to the village’s elders what she had done. The newspaper reported that it is considered a taboo among Obong’s tribe to bury someone with money.
Anglican priest, Rev. Joel Agel Awio told the paper that no amount of money can buy someone’s way into heaven.
“The price for eternal life is the blood of Jesus. If you want your sins to be forgiven, do it when you are still alive,” he was quoted as saying.