Kanungu Magistrate's court has dismissed a petition filed by Fortunate Kyarikunda seeking to set aside a ruling that ordered her to compensate Richard Tumwiine for breach of a marriage promise.
Kyarikunda filed the petition on March 17, 2023, through M/S Nasike & Co Advocates, requesting that the ruling issued by the Kanungu Magistrate's court in civil suit number 024 of 2022 be overturned.
She argued that she did not receive the original summons and was unable to file a defense because her phone was in the possession of her sister, Rhona Atukwasa.
In the original jurisdiction, the court ruled that since Kyarikunda did not fulfill her promise to marry Tumwiine, he was entitled to reimbursement of Shs 9 million he had spent on her studies, as well as Shs 1 million in general damages for inconvenience and psychological anguish suffered.
In the May 25 ruling, read today Tuesday, Kanungu grade one magistrate Asanasio Mukobi dismissed Kyarikunda's application with costs. The court found that Kyarikunda consistently failed to appear before the court, as did her purported counsel.
“To say the least, this court finds that the applicant has defeated her own pursuit for justice. She has consistently never appeared before this court and so is her purported counsel. They do not even want the application filed by themselves to be heard and determined although the applicant alleges that she wants justice by being heard…This is incredible and it must be out of shame given the circumstances of the subject matter in the main suit. Justice is not only for the applicant but also the respondent,” reads the ruling.
Tumwiine's lawyer, Erasmus Nabimanya, welcomed the ruling, stating that Tumwiine deserved justice. He noted that Kyarikunda's continuous absence from court indicated that she had no valid arguments to present. Kyarikunda declined to comment on the matter when contacted by our reporter. Tumwiine and Kyarikunda, both teachers, began their relationship in 2015 while working at Kiringa primary school in Kambuga sub-county.
They entered a marriage agreement in 2018, during which Tumwiine financially supported Kyarikunda and sponsored her diploma in legal practice at the Law Development Centre in Kampala. He claims to have spent Shs 9.4 million on her education.
However, after completing the course, Kyarikunda backed out of the marriage plan, citing concerns about Tumwiine's age and the potential stress it might cause her. Tumwiine, aged 60, and Kyarikunda, in her thirties, had planned an introduction ceremony scheduled to take place in February 2022.
Subsequently, Tumwiine took Kyarikunda to court for breaching the marriage promise and sought a refund of the money he had invested in her education, as it was intended for their future as husband and wife.