Sunday July 6 2014

Court orders tycoon to pay Shs70m to AG

By Juliet Kigongo

Kampala- Court has ordered a businessman to compensate the Auditor General (AG), Mr John Muwanga, with more than Shs70m he lost in a false land deal.

Justice Angelin Flavia Senoga of the Commercial Court ordered Mr Robert Kimera, to pay the money after Mr Muwanga’s lawyer told court that mediation in the matter had failed.

“I am entering judgment that you refund the money with interest and this application is granted with costs. You will work out the moderates of payment,” Justice Senoga ruled.
Mr Kimera’s lawyer had protested at the start of the hearing, saying his client had not been given a chance to attend mediation proceedings before the case was brought back to the judge for a fresh trial.

However, Justice Senoga showed him the report made by the mediator, showing that the case had been listed for mediation eight times and Mr Kimera did not turn up.

Mr Muwanga’s lawyer, Mr Henry Okello Oryem, told court that this was the best case to enter summary judgment because Mr Kimera had admitted in his court documents to refund the money.

In response, Mr Kimera’s lawyer said order 13 rule 6 of the court does not entitle Mr Muwanga to judgment because they provide for judgment only where a person admits the claim in the pleadings (his defence).

“Entering judgment would be illegal because the agreement of purchase only becomes invalid after a refund. Since the refund has not taken place, it means Mr Muwanga is still the purchaser of the land,” he said.

However, Mr Oryem described the claims by Mr Kimera’s lawyer as lies.

“In his defence to this case, he tells a lie that the refund was to be made in case he got new buyers for this land, which is not part of the original agreement. But even be that as it may, we have since established that this land was sold to another person called Jashan Lukaman on February 2, 2013 and in September, the purchaser (Lukaman) transferred it in his names. So to say that the applicant (Muwanga) is still the purchaser, is telling another lie,” Mr Oryem said.

He said with such lies, there was nothing left for the judge to hear since the claim for the refund of the Shs70m had been admitted.

Justice Senoga dismissed the claims by Mr Kimera’s lawyer and ordered his client to refund Mr Muwanga’s money.