Woman ordered to pay Sh348,000 after failing to marry man who footed education bill
A court in western Uganda has dismissed an application from a woman who sought to overturn a ruling where she was told to pay Ush10.4 million (about Ksh348,000) damages for breaching a marriage promise to a man who had paid her college tuition.
The Kanungu Magistrate Court had last month found that Ms Fortunate Kyarikunda, a law enforcement officer, breached a 2018 promise to marry Mr Richard Tumwine, a local teacher. He had paid her fees to study for a diploma in Law on the understanding that she would be his future wife, the court heard.
Yesterday, Magistrate Asanasio Mukobi ruled that Ms Kyarikunda’s application could not stand since she had forged signatures and altered her evidence during amendment.
“The application is dismissed with no costs awarded,” Mr Mukobi ruled.
Ms Kyarikunda, who was not in court, was represented by her lawyers from M/s Nasike & Company Advocates, who said they were not satisfied with the court ruling and would appeal.
“Whereas Mr Richard Tumwiine’s story was heard, no one has ever heard from our client and yet people continue to judge her wrongly. We shall appeal because all we want is for our client to be heard,” Ms Sarah Nakike, a lawyer representing Ms Kyarikunda, said.
Ms Kyarikunda said she was not duly served with summons to file her defence.
Mr Erasmus Nabimanya, who was representing Mr Tumwiine, welcomed the court’s decision but said they should have been awarded with costs of the suit.
“While we are happy that the filed application was dismissed, court did not award us costs yet we spent a lot of money. In consultation with my client, we shall consider filling an application demanding for the costs of this dismissed application,” Mr Nabimanya said.
On his part, Mr Tumwiine said the woman’s absence from court raised more questions.
“I think by filing the application for the case to be heard inter parte, Ms Kyarikunda was just buying time…her failure to attend court in person shows that she is guilty of the offence she committed,” he said.
However in her appeal, Ms Kyarikunda said she was not given an opportunity to defend herself.
Mr Tumwine filed the case in July last year saying that her commitment to marry him is what had formed the basis of his decision to sponsor her Law diploma course at the Law Development Centre in Kampala.
According to court records, the two met and fell in love in 2015 when teaching at the same primary school in Kanungu.
Mr Tumwine testified that Ms Kyarikunda walked back on a February 2022 date she had set for their marriage introduction ceremony. He said she later opted out of the relationship altogether on grounds that he was old.
Report by Biira Naume and Robert Muhereza
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