The Ugandan man whose fiancée was ordered to pay him Ush10 million ($2,700) for not honouring a promise to marry him now says he wanted his girlfriend to complete her studies before they could tie the knot.
Mr Richard Tumwine said he fell in love with Ms Fortunate Kyarikunda while he was teaching at Kiringa Primary School in Kanungu in 2015. Ms Kyarikunda was doing her school practice, and by the time she attained her Grade III certificate in teacher education in 2018, the pair had entered a “promise to marry” agreement.
Mr Tumwine revealed that when Ms Kyarikunda wanted to pursue a diploma in law at the Law Development Centre in Kampala, she asked him to pay all fees that totalled USh9.43 million ($2,548). Mr Tumwine had cleared the fees.
“I wanted her to complete her studies so that I can marry a well-educated wife that will not be dependent on me,” he said during a telephone interview.
Mr Tumwine said all was set for the two to commence family introduction ceremonies in readiness for marriage. The introduction ceremony was slated to take place in February of 2022, but Ms Kyarikunda opted out citing Mr Tumwine’s age.
“When she disappointed me, I did not take the law in my hands because I knew the repercussions,” Mr Tumwine said.
After she told him she would not marry him, Mr Tumwine said he engaged Ms Kyarikunda’s grandfather in a mediation process. He “also engaged the local leaders, the police, relatives and friends … but no positive result was attained”.
“I was advised by my friends to file a civil case in the Kanungu chief magistrate’s court which I did on July 1 … and the case was registered as No.24 of 2022. I was happy when the court last week ruled in my favour,” Mr Tumwine said.
Mr Asanasio Mukobi, the Kanungu grade one magistrate, last week ordered Ms Kyarikunda to refund USh9.43 million that Mr Tumwine spent on her tuition. The magistrate also awarded Mr Tumwine USh1 million ($270) as general damages for inconveniences and psychological anguish.
Mr Tumwine, currently a teacher at Kishororo Primary School in Kanungu District, told the Monitor that Ms Kyarikunda, now a law enforcement officer in Rubanda District, was his first love.
“I pray to God to give me a suitable and well-educated woman that I can marry,” the born-again Christian said.
“I began special day and night prayers so that God can get me the wife of my dreams,” he added.
Mr Tumwine said that he will use the money awarded to him by court to spruce up his house as he prepares for the next chapter in his life.
Monitor is still pursuing Ms Kyarikunda for her side of the story.