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By Farooq Kasule

The husband of Democratic Party (DP) president Norbert Mao’s research assistant has accused him (Mao) of misleading his wife.

Martin Kayanja, in response to a divorce petition filed by his wife, Beatrice Kayanja, at the Family Court in Makindye, said Mao used to call her at night before she returned to Uganda from the UK where she was living. 

“I told her to tell him to call at reasonable hours and not those designated for the family, in vain,” he said. 

Kayanja married Beatrice in 2004 after she separated from the father of her first three children, court documents indicated. 

He claimed that because of continuous night calls, he allegedly sent a voice recording to Mao, cautioning him about it. 

Despite Beatrice calling herself the research assistant, Kayanja argued that the title was a cover for their extra-marital relationship. Kayanja said his wife is a novice in politics and does not have any experience in any research-related work. Kayanja said his wife escorted Mao to critical DP meetings despite not being a member of any party organ. 

He cited the launch of the DP manifesto ahead of the 2021 presidential elections as one such meeting.

Other areas of contention 

Kayanja said he was willing to dissolve their marriage because it has irretrievably broken down. He, however, denied allegations of drunkenness, cruelty and belittling Beatrice in public. 

“I will not contest the dissolution of the marriage, but I absolutely deny the petitioner’s supporting allegations as set out in the petition. It is rather the petitioner that has been cruel to me and the children,” Kayanja said. 

He pleaded with the court not to impose any costs on him in the dissolution of their marriage, arguing that it is not him who sought the divorce. 

In regard to their marital house abroad, Kayanja said the jurisdiction over the matter lay in the London Borough of Barnet and not the family court in Kampala. 

Kayanja also said he has never restricted Beatrice from seeing their children and a visit to them would be beneficial. 

Despite Beatrice calling herself the research assistant, Kayanja argued that the title was a cover for their extra-marital relationship. Kayanja said his wife is a novice in politics and does not have any experience in any research-related work. Kayanja said his wife escorted Mao to critical DP meetings despite not being a member of any party organ

“If it was really true that I was being cruel to the children, then she should have sought an order for joint custody,” he noted. Kayanja further noted that the children are British nationals living outside the jurisdiction of the court. 

He also contended granting custody of children to Beatrice, saying she has no permanent residence in Uganda. 

In regard to being a drunkard, Kayanja trashed the allegation, saying he would not have been able to study for a master’s degree in applied statistics at the University of London, Birkbeck College and work as a senior analyst of HM Revenue and Customs.

Kayanja instead blamed Beatrice for drinking substantial quantities of alcohol, which often resulted in erratic and aggressive behaviour.

Petition details

In her petition filed on February 11, Beatrice wanted her marriage to Martin Kayanja dissolved on grounds that it has been stormy and unhappy, owing to his cruelty, malevolent behaviour, and lack of respect to the sanctity of marriage, among others. 

“The respondent (Kayanja) has been very quarrelsome and disrespectful to me and has on several occasions belittled me before my children and the public and has uncontrolled anger and enjoys fighting,” Beatrice stated. 

She also accused Kayanja of being a drunkard. 

High Court Judge Ketra Katunguka is slated to hear the case on April 4 next year.

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