A court in Uganda has ordered a woman to pay her ex-boyfriend more than $2,800 i.e 280,000ksh for ending their engagement after he paid for her school fees, saying she caused him “psychological distress and agony”.
According to court documents seen by AFP, retired teacher Richard Tumwiine, 64, paid for Fortunate Kyarikunda’s law degree while the couple were dating.
The woman – believed to be in her 30s – later ‘turned on the complainant saying she could not marry an old man’.
“Since the promise of marriage was not fulfilled by the defendant to the detriment of the plaintiff, the plaintiff is entitled to compensation,” Judge Charles Mukobi said Thursday in Kanungu, western Uganda.
The judge said Kyarikunda had to return 9,439,100 Ugandan shillings (2,560 dollars) that Tumwiine spent on his studies.
The court also ordered the defendant to pay “one million shillings ($271) in total compensation to the plaintiff for psychological distress and pain,” Mukobi added.
Kyarikunda did not present a defense or attend the hearing, the court heard. He could not be reached by AFP for comment.
Tumwiine told AFP on Friday that the case had “left permanent wounds in my heart”.
“I was despised by friends and relatives as a rejected man and cheated by a woman besides ruining my life,” he added.
But Uganda’s former ethics minister and prominent women’s rights activist Miria Matembe criticized the “one-sided” decision.
It was “a classic case of how justice systems are biased towards men”, she told AFP.
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