KAMPALA: This week, the Court of Appeal ruled in favour of DTB in a matter against Hamis Kiggundu also known as HAM.
DTB’s legal team led by Counsel Kiwanuka Kiryowa of K&K advocates, is confident of winning even the main suit because of the following facts;
Ham Enterprise Ltd borrowed money from DTBU & DTBK which he failed to pay back. DTB commenced recovery proceedings.
In response, Ham Enterprises Ltd & Others filed Civil Suit No 43 of 2020 against the Banks claiming amongst others that the Banks had breached the loan agreements, the credit facilities had been settled at law, the Banks irregularly debited and recovered monies from the company’s account over the period of ten years and that they were entitled to the release of their mortgaged property.
The Banks filed a joint written statement of defence, denying the allegations and contending that Ham Enterprises Ltd was indebted to them for various credit facilities lawfully obtained.
To their shock, On 7th October 2020, the Court allowed the application and striking out the joint written statement of defence of the banks and summarily entered judgment in plaintiff’s favour and ordering the bank to pay colossal sums of money.
DTB appealed the decision, contending among others that the learned trial judge erred in law and in fact in striking out the written statement of defense of and finding that the sums Shs34,295,951,553 and $23,467,670.61 were unlawfully taken from HAM’s loan accounts without evidence.
The Banks also contended that the Learned trial judge erred in law in entering judgment for the Plaintiffs as prayed for in their joint plaint by virtue of Order 9 rules 6, 8, 10 and 30 of the Civil Procedure Rules.
The Appeal was heard by the Court of Appeal and on 5th May 2021, the Court delivered its judgment in the matter where it found that the procedure under which the learned trial Judge disposed of the matter and entered Judgment in the Respondent’s favor was strange, erroneous and contravened the Civil Procedure Rules.
The Court also found that the trial Judge was wrong in ordering the Banks to pay the claimed sums without hearing the evidence.
The Court therefore ordered as follows;
The Judgment and orders of the High Court are set aside.
Respondents were ordered to bear the costs of the appeal.
Civil Suit No 43 of 2020 be remitted back to the Commercial Division of the High Court to be expeditiously fixed and heard by another Judge.
The High Court proceedings to commence on the pleadings before amendment.
The amended Plaint and amended Written Statement of Defence were struck off the record by the Court.
Between 2011 and 2016, Kiggundu borrowed money from the two commercial institutions to the tune of Shs41 billion to finance his real estate business. He willingly signed the loan agreement with DTB-Kenya. This loan was syndicated because DTB Uganda did not have all the money Kiggundu needed. DTB Uganda had to approach its affiliate in Kenya- DTB Kenya to raise the money for Kiggundu, even though Judge Henry Peter Adonyo in his ruling stated that it contravened the Financial Institutions Act, 2004.
Following the ruling, Kiggundu the proprietor of Ham Enterprises and Kiggs International Limited, would go into early celebrations, but the celebrations were cut short by Dr. Zeija, giving a leeway for DTB-Uganda to appeal against the high court ruling that was castigated by many players in the business community as well as the general public.