Mr Richard Tumwine in Kanungu
Mr Richard Tumwine in Kanungu

A lady who attempted to appeal a decision in which she was penalized Ush10.4 million (about Ksh348,000) for breaking a matrimonial pledge to a guy who had financed her college tuition had her plea rejected by a court in western Uganda.

Ms. Fortunate Kyarikunda, a law enforcement official, was found to have broken her 2018 commitment to wed Mr. Richard Tumwine, a local teacher, by the Kanungu Magistrate Court last month.

The court was told that he had financed her tuition to get a certificate in law with the assumption that she would eventually become his wife.

Mr. Richard Tumwine claimed that his girlfriend had turned down his marriage proposal due to his advanced age.

Magistrate Asanasio Mukobi decided yesterday that Ms. Kyarikunda's request was invalid because she had falsified signatures and changed her proof during amendments.

Mr. Mukobi said, "The application is rejected with no costs granted."

The attorneys for Ms. Kyarikunda, who was not present in court, said that they would file an appeal because they were not pleased with the court's decision.

"Although Mr. Richard Tumwiine's narrative was heard, our client's tale has never been mentioned, and yet despite this, people are still going to condemn her incorrectly. Since all we are interested in is our client being heard, we will appeal," said Ms. Sarah Nakike, a lawyer for Ms. Kyarikunda.

Ms. Kyarikunda claimed that the summons to present her defense was not properly served on her.

The attorney for Mr. Tumwiine, Erasmus Nabimanya, praised the court's ruling but insisted that they should have received compensation for their legal expenses.

"Although we are pleased that the motion filed was rejected, the court did not grant us fees despite the fact that we spent a significant amount of money."

"In discussion with my client, we will think about filing a request for the fees associated with this rejected application," according to Mr. Nabimanya.

Mr. Tumwiine said that the woman's disappearance from court presented further issues.

"I believe that Ms. Kyarikunda was only buying time by requesting that the matter be handled inter partes... her inability to appear in person for court proceedings establishes her guilt for the offense she perpetrated," he stated.

Ms. Kyarikunda claimed in her appeal that she was not given the chance to provide a defense.

In July of last year, Mr. Tumwine filed the lawsuit, claiming that his choice to financially support her law diploma study at the Kampala Law Development Center was based on her promise to marry him.

In 2015, while working at the same Kanungu elementary school as teachers, the two allegedly fell in love.

Mr. Tumwine stated that Ms. Kyarikunda skipped the day she had planned for their marriage proposal ceremony in February 2022. He said that she later decided to end their relationship on the pretext that he was too old.

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