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Tumwiine on why he sued ex-lover, demanded Shs 9m refund after break-up

Richard Tumwiine

Richard Tumwiine

Richard Tumwiine, who won a civil suit against his ex-lover for breach of marriage promise, says that he ran to the courts to avoid taking the law into his own hands. 

Tumwiine, 40, a primary school teacher and resident of Kagoongo-Nyakagyezi village in Nyarutojo parish, Kambuga sub-county, Kanungu district filed a civil suit against Fortunate Kyarikunda from Kiringa parish for breach of marriage promise.

According to Tumwiine, he met Kyarikunda in 2015 at Kiringa primary school in Kambunga sub-county, Kanungu district in western Uganda where he was a teacher. Kyarikunda was conducting teaching practice at the same school. The two fell in love and agreed in 2018 to get married. Tumwiine reportedly gave Kyarikunda Shs 9,439,100 to complete her diploma in legal practice at the Kampala-based Law Development Center (LDC). 

After completing her bar course, the lovebirds agreed on January 10, 2022, to arrange an introduction ceremony scheduled for February 2022. However, Tumwiine was shocked when Kyarikunda backed out of the marriage plan, saying that she can’t proceed because her suitor is over 60 years of age and she is not ready to face the stress that comes with marriage.

In his ruling, Kanungu grade one magistrate, Asanansio Mukobi, said that despite being served, Kyarikunda failed to file her defense. Mukobi ruled that since the marriage promise was not fulfilled, Tumwiine is entitled to the reimbursement of the Shs 9 million he spent on her education. 

Based on article 126 (2) (c) of the Constitution which provides for adequate compensation for victims of wrongs, Mukobi ordered Kyarikunda to pay Shs 1 million to Tumwiine as general damages for inconveniences and psychological anguish. 

Since the ruling was issued, Kyarikunda who currently works as the law enforcement officer in Rubanda town council, Rubanda district has switched off her known mobile phone lines. On Saturday afternoon, our reporter found Tumwiine in Kagoongo-Nyakagyezi village in Nyarutojo parish working on his banana plantation. 

Kiringa who now teaches at Kishororo Church of Uganda primary school in Rugyeyo sub-county in the same district narrates that after receiving disappointing news from Kyarikunda through a phone call, he developed too much anger and self-hatred.

He revealed that he mobilized money he gave to Kyarikunda from his meagre monthly salary, agriculture produce sales, and commercial houses in the nearby Kanyantorogo sub-county, with an aim of fulfilling the marriage promise. He argues that by the time the two met, he was 33 while Kyarikunda was in her 20s   

"I was stressed, traumatised, for sure I got psychological anguish and as a responsible man I could stand all those and after which I went to one of the leaders that is the LC chairperson of our sub county Kambuga for guidance. He advised me to go for legal advice at Kambuga police station...I went there and talked to the CID and he advised me to go directly to court," said Tumwiine.     

Tumwiine explains that despite the court victory he's still unhappy because of a broken promise. He says that his failed marriage plan should act as a lesson to members of the public that keeping faith and a promise is very important.  

Asked if he plans to get a new lover for marriage, Tumwiine said that he is very ready because his experience with Kyarikunda is not the end of his life, and not all women are like his ex. He says that what happened to him should also be a lesson to the public that it is good to stop doing wrong to people in society in order to live in peace.   

Pamella Kebirungi, a teacher at Kishororo church of Uganda primary school wonders why Kyarikunda disappointed Tumwiine since he is known as a jolly and transparent person. According to Kebirungi, if Kyarikunda knew that she is unable to fulfil the marriage promise, she shouldn't have accepted the money. 

But Sam Kajojo Arineteitwe, Kanungu district LC V chairperson strongly protests the court verdict arguing that it encourages men to target school-going girls coming from poor families with money with the mission of sexually harassing them. 

Kajojo argues that since Kyarikunda was still a student by then, Tumwiine being a professional, qualified to be his father but not a lover. Kajojo says that Kanungu district council will sit and discuss means of petitioning against the ruling for judicial review.  

"I would want to express my disappointment as a leader to the judicial system. Whoever was managing this case. Because this one, I don't know whether it is promoting selling young people, those that are coming from very needy backgrounds or luring them into support for education in exchange for either marriage or sex. This is a very very unfortunate and I think it is a matter that we're going to engage and discuss in the council my own feeling and thinking, I think there must be some people that are corrupting the system, the judicial system to ensure that they do wrong judgement. There can't be an agreement for example, am assuming somebody comes to a parents' home and you're booking a girl who is just in secondary school that you would want her to be your wife after university or you want to invest in her education. Why can't you get old people who are ready for marriage?" said Kajojo.     


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