Ham protests Principal Judge’s role in case
Ham Enterprises, through its lawyers Muwema and Co. advocates has protested the involvement of the Principal Judge Dr. Flavian Zeija in their case against DTB Kenya and DTB Uganda.
This morning Nov 2, 2020,the Principal Judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija stopped the execution of a high court decision made last month that directed Diamond Trust Bank to refund UGX120 billion by DTB Uganda which the bank removed from the account of Hamis Kiggundu on grounds that he had defaulted on huge loans.
Fred Muwema the Lead counsel for Ham Enterprises told journalists outside the high court that Dr. Zeija did not follow the law when he was taking on the case from the high Court.
“We are going to the Court of Appeal, we believe the Principal Judge is a conflicted party in this case and he didn’t follow the law or the Constitution while taking over this case,” Muwema said.
In March, Kiggundu dragged DTB Kenya and Uganda to court withdrawing over UGX120b from his accounts without his consent.
Kiggundu further claims that he wanted the court declare that the banks demand for $4,014,444 and $6,974,600, which was advanced to him by DTB-Kenya, is illegal and unenforceable on the grounds that the Kenyan bank had no license to carry out financial business in Uganda.
In October 2020, the Commercial Court in Kampala declared illegal, the loan that businessman Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises had acquired from Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) and directed that the bank refunds the Shs120 billion allegedly deducted from Ham Enterprises’ bank accounts and return the security given by Ham.
However The Principal Judge, Dr.Flavian Zeija stopped the payment of Shs120 billion by Diamond Trust Bank to city businessman, Hamis Kiggundu under his company, Ham Enterprises, after DTB Uganda and Kenya filed an application seeking to have the orders of the Commercial Court halted until their appeal is heard and disposed of.
According to their appeal, DTB represented by a team of lawyers led by Kiryowa Kiwanuka argues that they were not given a fair hearing by the Commercial Court before giving its judgement that ordered that the bank refund UGX120 billion to Ham Enterprises.
DTB also argued that the order by the Commercial Court will have far-reaching implications on the baking industry in Uganda.
“The judgment nullified all syndicated loans and lending by foreign financiers to Ugandan borrowers which losses will run into trillions of shillings with the attendant damage to the economy of Uganda by blocking foreign lending to the Ugandan enterprises,” DTB argues.
On Monday morning, the Principal Judge allowed the application, saying that the bank would suffer a great loss if the order is executed before the appeal is disposed of.
“This decision has far-reaching implications on the banking industry as far as it declares syndicated loans illegal. This calls for maintenance of the status quo to enable the court of appeal to inquire into this illegality (syndicated loans) and either uphold the finding or reverse it,” Zeija ruled on Monday morning.
In his ruling, Dr. Zeija said if the application seeking to stay the execution of the Commercial Court orders is not granted, it would render the appeal by DTB a waste of time.
“There is a serious or imminent threat of execution of the order and if the application is not granted, the appeal would be rendered nugatory. If the mortgages(security) are released (by DTB), it presents a high risk as these titled can be transferred and defeats the only security the applicants (DTB) have against the respondents (Ham).”
He directed that all orders of the Commercial Court are not executed until the case filed in the Court of Appeal is disposed of.
In his response, Kiggundu said that it is very bad that in these courts their are judicial officers who work for the banks saying the principal judge is also compromised citing today’s ruling which he called bias.
“What we have seen today is a conclusive evidence to what I was saying, these people do not pay rent or taxes, they just take our money but I believe my case is going to set precedence as a game changing case in this country and I believe I will win this case, In fact,my aim is not on the 120b but on our economy, am trying to redress this” said Kiggundu.
He reiterated: ‘s pray to God that this case is redressed, today’s ruling is completely and absolutely biased we know we shall win this case, we know he is protecting his interests”.