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Ugandan court orders woman to pay ex for breakup

Agence France-Presse - Agence France-Presse
Ugandan court orders woman to pay ex for breakup
File photo shows festival-goers dancing at the Itanda Falls on the second day of Nyege Nyege festival in Jinja, Uganda
AFP / Badru Katumba

KAMPALA, Uganda — A Ugandan court has ordered a woman to pay her ex-fiance more than $2,800 (P152,000) for breaking off their engagement after he paid for her studies, saying she caused "inconvenience and psychological anguish."

According to court documents, retired teacher Richard Tumwiine, 64, paid for Fortunate Kyarikunda's diploma in law while the couple were engaged.

The woman — said to be in her early thirties — subsequently "turned against the plaintiff saying she cannot marry an old man."

"Since the promise to marry was not fulfilled by the defendant to the detriment of the plaintiff then the plaintiff is entitled to reimbursement," Magistrate Charles Mukobi ruled on Thursday in Kanungu, western Uganda.

The judge said Kyarikunda had to refund the 9,439,100 Ugandan shillings (P139,000) that Tumwiine spent on her studies.

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The court also ordered the defendant to pay "one million shillings ($P14,700) in general damages to the plaintiff for inconvenience and psychological anguish," Mukobi added.

Kyarikunda neither submitted a defense nor attended proceedings, the court said. She could not be reached for comment.

Tumwiine said on Friday that the case had "left permanent injuries in my heart."

"I have been scorned by friends and relatives as a man who was rejected and conned by a woman on top of disrupting my life," he added.

But Uganda's former ethics minister and prominent women's rights activist Miria Matembe slammed the "one-sided" verdict.

It was "a classic case of how the judicial systems are tilted in favor of men," she said.

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