By Jude Etyang
THE marriage between former President Godfrey Binaisa and Japanese wife Tomoko Yamamoto has broken up as a result of disagreements over land and religion.
Binaisa gave Yamamoto seven days to vacate their marital home in Muyenga and cease to use his name, Binaisa. The seven days expire tomorrow.
Sources said yesterday one of the reasons for the break-up was Binaisaâ€™s refusal to accept Yamamotoâ€™s pleas to donate 150 acres of his land on Mutundwe hill to Reverend Moonâ€™s Korean-based Unification Church.
Binaisa opted for the separation instead of surrendering his property and converting to the religion, which compels its followers to surrender their property to it.
â€œThey wanted to put a church on Binaisaâ€™s land. They wanted the deal to be sealed this week, thatâ€™s why they wanted to take Binaisa to Moon,â€ the source said.
But Binaisa, in a statutory declaration, stated that he no longer wanted to remain in the relationship because he was being coerced to convert to Moonâ€™s Church, contrary to an earlier understanding with Yamamoto not to change his faith.
â€œI no longer wish to discuss the matter or remain in the said relationship due to irreconcilable differences between myself and Yamamoto, particularly the fact that I am being unduly influenced, cajoled and coerced to convert to the Reverend Moonâ€™s Unification Church, contrary to our earlier understanding that I will not change my faith,â€ Binaisa said.
â€œFor avoidance of doubt, within seven days of receipt of this declaration, I have asked Tomoko Yamamoto to vacate my premises situated on William Kalema Drive, Muyenga and henceforth cease to use my surname of â€˜Binaisaâ€™,â€ Binaisa said in the declaration.
He gave Yamamoto US$30,000 (about sh54m) to facilitate her transport and resettlement costs from Kampala to Colombus, Ohio in the US.
Binaisaâ€™s bestman, Gordon Wavamunno, said he had tried to mediate between the couple but said both sides had very serious disagreements.
He said both did not understand what their marriage meant in terms of religion. Another source said the couple failed to resolve how Binaisaâ€™s children would relate to them.
â€œAlthough she knew he had kids, the relationship with the children was not streamlined,â€ the source said.
Binaisaâ€™s daughter Nakalema yesterday said she and her siblings had nothing to do with the fallout.
â€œI have never (opposed) Mzeeâ€™s marriage to Yamamoto, I didnâ€™t even choose my own mother!
â€œWe told him that if he was happy, we were happy. I had nothing to do with his personal relationship,â€ Nakalema said.
Asked about disagreements over the land, Nakalema said, â€œWhere did you get that from? I canâ€™t comment on that. I canâ€™t comment on my fatherâ€™s personal relationship.â€
The sinks, bathtubs, the tiled floors and windows of the coupleâ€™s Muyenga mansion are dust-coated, showing that it has been deserted for a while.
Binaisa moved his property from the two-storey bungalow a week ago, leaving Yamamoto alone in the house.
A house worker said Yamamoto left on Tuesday at 11:00am aboard a brown Dudu mini-van. She did not say where she was going but told the guard to keep her property locked up in the basement.
Bailiffs led by Binaisaâ€™s lawyer Erias Lukwago supervised Yamamoto as she packed her property. But when contacted, Lukwago refused to comment.
â€œI canâ€™t discuss clientsâ€™ matters with the press, period,â€ Lukwago said.
The 85-year-old Binaisa exchanged vows with Yamamoto by satellite link on July 26, 2004. President Yoweri Museveni attended Binaisaâ€™s wedding at Speke Resort, Munyonyo on December 16, 2004.