A Ugandan woman who broke up with her fiancé has been ordered to pay him financial damages for psychological anguish.
According to the Kanungu High Court, Richard Tumwine paid 9.4 million shillings ($2,550; £2,060) for Fortunate Kyarikunda’s law studies, which she must now repay, as well as his legal bills.
Magistrate Asanasio Mukobi ruled that Ms. Kyarikunda had broken a promise to Mr. Tumwine by calling off their engagement after four years.
The court said it was “unreasonable, a misrepresentation and a fraud” for the defendant to argue that her parents told her not to marry an older man, saying she “had all the opportunity to reject the plaintiff’s love requests at the earliest point possible and avoid interfering with his financial obligations”.
It is not known if Ms. Kyarikunda will appeal against the judgment.
Critics tell the Monitor newspaper that the verdict is flawed because an engagement, unlike a marriage, is not legally binding.
Sheila Kawamara of the women’s rights organization ED EASSI cautions that there are sometimes exploitative circumstances where a man provides money to a woman in exchange for her engagement to him.
ADDITIONAL INPUT: NEWS AGENCIES