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High Court Dissolves Mao’s Marriage

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Justice Godfrey Namundi dissolved the marriage in his judgment delivered on May 27th, 2019 on a petition filed by Achieng accusing Mao of cruelty and desertion.
31 May 2019 17:07
Nobert Mao and Naomi Achieng Adong when they were still together
The High Court Family Division has dissolved the marriage of Norbert Mao, the Democratic Party-DP President to Naomi Achieng Adong.   

Justice Godfrey Namundi dissolved the marriage in his judgment delivered on May 27th, 2019 on a petition filed by Achieng accusing Mao of cruelty and desertion. 

Mao, who has three children with Achieng following their civil marriage on August 8, 2003, is said to have deserted his wife for eight years.  

“The evidence before this court shows the petitioner (Achieng) has been living separately for eight years. The respondent has absconded from the matrimonial home leaving the petitioner (Achieng) with the issues of marriage”, said Justice Namundi as he delivered his judgment.  

According to the judgment, Mao shall continue occupying the house on Plot 58 Valley Drive in Minister’s Village Ntinda for the interest of their children for a period of three years. 

Court has also directed that the couple transfers the property in the names of the children.

 

Justice Namundi has also ordered Mao to relinquish to Achieng all his interest and the property comprised of plot 14 Kitgum Road, Gulu Municipality in Gulu Municipality. 

Mao will also handover the motor vehicle registration number UAH 437Z to Achieng as requested in her petition she filed in 2017. 

This being a family matter, Justice Namundi declined to give orders for costs.

Background   

In 2017, Achieng dragged Mao to the High Court Family Division demanding seeking order the sole custody of their children  and that Mao be given access to them. 

She also sought for an order for maintenance of the children and that Mao surrenders Vehicle registration number UAH 437Z.  Achieng also demanded that the Property in Ntinda be registered in her names such that Mao keeps the rest of the property.    

She argued that she contributed to the construction of the house in Ntinda by buying wardrobes, cabinets and other property. Mao contested the allegations of cruelty and approved of the divorce arguing that Achieng had deserted their home leading to irretrievable breakdown of marriage.   

Mao also prayed that the marriage between him and Achieng be dissolved. He asked court to give him primary custody of the children and that that Achieng be given reasonable access to them.   

He also asked that the Ntinda property be put in the names of the children and willingly accepted to relinquish all his interests in and transfer their property in Gulu measuring an acre of land.  Mao also agreed to surrender the vehicle requested by Acheing, saying he bought it for her.   

As part of his evidence, Mao tabled evidence before court for the purchase of the Ntinda property, saying that as a politician he saw widows of the house being dispossessed and decided that they become joint tenants for the sake of the family.    

The duo had to buy a house from a one Azu. Mao paid Shillings 35 million as they were still cohabiting in 2002 using part of his salary he obtained from Parliament as a legislator. He however, says he added Achieng’s names on the property title for the reasons stated.      

Mao obtained a mortgage of Shillings 60 million from DFCU Bank and an additional loan from Centenary Bank to roof the house. It’s only in 2007 when he cleared the loan using his gratuity from parliament, according to the evidence in court.      

Mao applied for the property in Gulu valued at Shillings 400M from Gulu Municipal Council and paid the premium in 2007. He invited Achiengto sign the papers while renewing the lease in 2013 so that she doesn’t go empty handed.        

Court set out to determine the property distribution and who of the couple should take custody of their youngest child. In his judgment, the judge noted that the applicant didn’t take any evidence proving the allegations of cruelty against Mao as alleged.

“It is evident that the marriage between the petitioner (Achieng) and the respondent (Mao) has irretrievably broken down. It is accordingly a foregone conclusion that both parties want a divorce and their marriage cannot be redeemed”, said Namundi.     

He ordered that Mao stays with the minor since it is improper to halt the environment the minor is used to.

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