For the second time, the court has annulled Buikwe Woman MP Judith Babirye’s marriage, this time with the fellow lawmaker, Paul Musoke Sebulime (Buikwe North).
The gospel music sensation was first married to Niiwo with whom they have a 12-year-old daughter. In January 2017, Babirye filed for divorce following a rocky road in the marriage. Her justification for the divorce was that their relationship was characterized by sadness owing to what she described as Niiwo’s “cruel, erratic and violent behavior”.
The musician turned politician asked the court to free her from a violent marriage. She cited an incident where Niiwo physically assaulted her, forcing her to flee their marital home in 2009.
On July 27, 2018, Babirye and Sebulime held a colorful marriage ceremony at Las Vegas, Bunga in Kampala district.
However, before the traditional marriage, Sebulime’s wife, Lukiya Ntale, had warned Babirye against getting married to her husband, who she said had three children with her.
However, Sebulime insisted that he was not legally married to Ntale and was free to marry another woman of his choice. After 17 months of marriage, on December 20, 2019, the family court annulled their marriage on grounds of cruelty.
According to court documents, Sebulime, who filed the divorce application, testified that he had neither seen nor heard from Babirye since December 22, 2018. He said her whereabouts were unknown to him and she had made no attempts to communicate with him.
Sebulime told the court that he does not have any children with Babirye. He noted that Babirye continued living in her home even after the couple got married. She would only go to her husband’s home when she so wished.
She never once prepared a home-cooked meal for him. He further accused Babirye of only having sexual intercourse with him a few times and only when she wanted. The couple has not been intimate since the second week of August 2018.
The petitioner also testified that Babirye has a daughter who visited occasionally, but never spent the night because she thought her husband would make sexual advances towards her.
According to Sebulime, Babirye was also suspicious of his friends and her attitude discouraged him from freely interacting with them for fear of upsetting his wife.
As a result, he experienced psychological and mental torture because he was forced to be a loner, yet he is outgoing.
In her judgment, High Court Family Division Judge Olive Kazaarwe Mukwaya ruled that it was evident that the actions of Babirye’s refusal to live with Ssebulime with some degree of permanence and her long unexplained absences were not a demonstration of a newlywed’s commitment to the success of the marriage.
“There is no evidence of the respondent’s participation in efforts to reconcile with her husband. She added: “In the opinion of this court, the intentional, unexplained, protracted absence and silence amounted to cruelty, on the part of the respondent. I am, therefore, satisfied that the petitioner has proved that this marriage should be dissolved on grounds of cruelty,” the court ruled.
Babirye refused to participate in the court proceedings, therefore the court did not have the benefit of hearing her side of this matter.