Court Orders Refund of Curtains and Cow in Former Ministry of Health Commissioner Divorce Case


In a recent divorce petition that caught the attention of many, a wife claimed ownership of over ten properties registered under her husband's name. However, the court's decision brought a surprising twist to the proceedings.

The case, filed in the High Court of Uganda (Family Division) as Divorce Cause No. 118 of 2017, saw Mrs. Peace Uhirirwe as the petitioner and Mr. Paul Kuuku Kagwa as the first respondent. The cause for the divorce was Mr. Kagwa's admitted adultery with the second respondent, Diana Natukunda. The couple had been married since December 16, 2005.

In her petition, Mrs. Uhirirwe sought various orders, including the dissolution of her marriage to Mr. Kagwa and the cancellation of the registration of the third respondent, Faith Kagwa, as the proprietor of the matrimonial home. She also laid claim to several properties registered under her husband's name.

However, the judgment delivered by the Honorable Lady Justice Alice Komuhangi Khaufa took a different turn. While acknowledging the validity of the marriage and granting the dissolution on grounds of adultery, the court ruled that the properties claimed by Mrs. Uhirirwe were not matrimonial assets subject to division. Instead, it ordered Mr. Kagwa to refund his wife UGX 2,800,000 (Ugandan Shillings) for curtains she had purchased and provide her with one cow, as he had not fulfilled the customary dowry payment.

The judgment laid out several key points:

  1. The marriage between Mrs. Uhirirwe and Mr. Kagwa was valid and dissolved on grounds of Mr. Kagwa's adultery.
  2. The properties listed in the petition were not considered matrimonial assets and were not subject to division.
  3. The transfer of the matrimonial home to Faith Kagwa (the third respondent) was deemed lawful.
  4. Mr. Kagwa was ordered to refund UGX 2,800,000 to Mrs. Uhirirwe for the curtains purchased and to provide her with one cow.
  5. Mrs. Uhirirwe did not acquire any interest in the properties through proprietary estoppel.
  6. Each party was responsible for bearing its own costs.

The judgment indicates a careful consideration of the facts and a fair distribution of assets and responsibilities. While Mrs. Uhirirwe's initial claims to the properties were not upheld, the court ensured that she received compensation for expenses incurred during the marriage.

This case serves as a reminder of the complexities involved in divorce proceedings and the importance of thorough legal representation. It also highlights the role of the court in ensuring equitable outcomes, taking into account the specific circumstances of each case.

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