A Ugandan court has ordered a woman to pay her ex-fiance more than $2,800 for breaking off their engagement after he paid for her studies, saying she caused “inconvenience and psychological anguish”.
According to court documents seen by AFP, 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 ($2,560) that Tumwiine spent on her studies.
The court also ordered the defendant to pay “one million shillings ($271) in general damages to the plaintiff for inconvenience and psychological anguish,” Mukobi added.
Kyarikunda neither submitted a defence nor attended proceedings, the court said. She could not be reached by AFP for comment.
Tumwiine told AFP 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 favour of men,” she told AFP.