On August 26 of this year, court issued its final orders allowing Kampala metropolitan traffic commander, Norman Musinga to divorce his estranged wife, Esther Kyinkuhaire.
Court also allowed SSP Musinga custody of the three children he got out of their nine-year marriage that had been solemnised at Namirembe diocese on July 17, 2010.
Witchcraft was the core reason for their marriage’s dissolution, at least according to court evidence.
In his divorce suit, Mr Musinga told Makindye Chief Magistrates Court that his wife was heavily engaged in ritual and spiritual activities associated with the Bachwezi, which was alien to his Christian faith.
He said his wife was involved in ritual praying in a church known as ‘Divine power temple’ of the Bachwezi and that he, on many occasions, found strange things/ herbs under their matrimonial bed.
“Because the respondent (wife) was engaged in witchcraft, the petitioner (Musinga) got great fear and even feared to engage in any sexual act with her since September, 2016 to date and avers that his marriage with his wife is irreconcilable in beliefs,” reads part of the evidence contained in the court judgment.
SSP Musing had also told court that for all the two years before the court suit, he and his wife were sleeping in two separate bedrooms due to the irreconcilable differences.
Grade One Magistrate, Allan Gakyaro Mpirwe in his decision, held that since SSP Musinga’s wife failed to appear in court to defend herself against the law suit, court had no option but to expunge her witness statement. This meant that whatever her estranged husband had alleged against her, stood unchallenged.
“The court having found out that the evidence of PW1 (Musinga) was not challenged and was obtained through vehement cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, I will find it credible in proof of this case,” the magistrate said.
Ms Kyinkuhaire had in her response, denied being involved in any spiritual activities, saying she also professes the Christian faith.
She also denied claims that they had been sleeping in two separate rooms. She said they had been sharing the same bedsheet, contrary to the officer’s claims that they were sleeping in separate rooms for two years before the court case and even had a baby during that period.
“To prove that paragraph 7 is false, their marriage is blessed with a one-and-a half year old daughter, which clearly shows that it could not be possible to have her if the petitioner (Musinga) and the respondent (Kyinkuhaire) were not enjoying their conjugal rights,” Ms Kyinkuhaire stated in her written response to the claims.
Ms Kyinkuhaire further explained that they were staying in a rented three-bedroom house that had a master bedroom, a room for maids/guests and another for children and therefore, there was no other special room for any of them.
She also said she loves her husband and that their marriage was merely going through wear and tear just like any other marriage and therefore, there was no need for divorce.
Explaining how she found out about the divorce suit instituted against her, she said her husband tricked her to take their last born to her home village for weaning and that he promised to pick her but he didn’t show up.
Ms Kyinkuhaire added that despite making several phone calls to him, SSP Musinga did not pick them up, prompting her to storm his work place at Central Police Station (CPS) in Kampala but failed to see him because he was reported to be busy.
She avers that one of the police officers who works with her husband, confided in her that her husband had filed a divorce suit against her before she went to court to confirm.
The magistrate said he had granted SSP Musinga custody of their three minors who are between six and two years, and not his estranged wife, because he was in gainful employment while she had no known source of income to comfortably look after the children.
“Court evaluated and found out that PW1 (Musinga) was gainfully employed by the police and at a senior rank in the police force. It’s also considered that the respondent (Kyinkuhaire) has no known source of income to provide for the minors,” ruled the court.
The court also held that despite mothers having a role in the upbringing of children, she was being accused of engaging in witchcraft and that her activities would affect their emotional growth and health.