Court has formally allowed Democratic Party President Norbert Mao to divorce with his wife, Naomi Acheng Odongo in there 16 years marriage and now he is finally free.
In her lawsuit before the High Court Family Division in 2017, Ms. Odongo filed for divorce citing acts of cruelty from her husband which she said had forced their marriage to break down.
She had asked the court to grant her sole custody of their two children as Mao be given access, their maintenance, ownership of a motor vehicle and properties at plot 58 valley drive ministers village Ntinda and that located at Senior quarters in Gulu.
In his response, Mr. Moa contested the allegations of cruelty and instead cross-petitioned for divorce on grounds that his wife had deserted their matrimonial home for eight years now hence leading to irretrievable breakdown of their marriage leaving behind their two sons aged 19 and 14 years.
Citing the case of Veronica Habyarimana Vs Habyarimana (1980) HCB 139, Justice Godfrey Namundi noted that the court held; “There is no definition of cruelty in the Divorce Act but case law has established that no conduct can amount to cruelty unless it has the effect of producing actual or apprehended injury to the petitioner’s physical and mental health. There must be a danger to life, limb or health, bodily or mental or reasonable for it for to constitute cruelty”.
Justice Namundi noted that in this case, there was no evidence adduced to support the allegations of the petitioner (Odongo) that the respondent (Mao) was cruel towards her, however, the courts are required to look at the facts in totality to determine whether a marriage has irretrievably broken down.
“Looking at the facts of this case in totality and the evidence of the petitioner, it is evident that the marriage between the petitioner and respondent has irretrievably broken down. It’s accordingly a foregone conclusion that both parties want a divorce and their marriage cannot be redeemed,” the judge asserted.