Friday August 8 2014

Sematimba’s property row awaits ruling before Supreme Court



The Supreme Court will decide on notice the fate of the application in which Ms Themi Nakibuuka Sebalu is seeking for an injunction blocking businessman Peter Sematimba from interfering with the property of her late father.

Five justices; Bart Katureebe, Jotham Tumwesigye, Esther Kisaakye, John Tsekooko and Christine Kitumba set the ruling on notice after hearing submissions by lawyers representing both Ms Nakibuuka and Mr Sematimba.
The decision comes after the High Court and the Court of Appeal dismissed the application seeking to block Mr Sematimba from accessing the premises in Muyenga, Makindye Division.

On June 30 this year, Justice Percy Tuhaise of the High Court dismissed the application and vacated earlier orders issued in March that evicted Mr Sematimba from the property formerly owned by deceased lawyer, Paul Sebalu.
The court of appeal ordered Ms Nakibuuka to vacate the disputed premises forthwith and ‘desist from moving out with any property of the respondent.”
Justice Tumwesigye sitting as single judge of the Supreme Court ruled on July 25 that Ms Nakibuuka did not successfully made out a case for grant of the application for stay of execution of orders by both the High Court and the Appeal Court.

“The main reason is because the applicant has been found by the lower courts not to be in lawful occupation of the disputed property. As a result staying the execution of the orders of the Court of appeal would in my view, be confirming the illegality of her occupation,” held Justice Tumwesigye.
On March 4, High Court Registrar, Ms Lillian Mwandha issued an interim order restraining Mr Sematimba and Muyenga Resort Hotel Limited and their agents from interfering, intermeddling with or managing the business of Muyenga Club and also files an inventory to court and a full account of assets and liabilities.

The Court had also appointed retired deputy Chief Justice Alice Mpagi Bahigeine, businessman Gordon Wavamuno, relatives; Dr Stephen Kijjambu and Samuel Njuki as well as deceased’s daughter Themi Nakibuuka Sebalu.
The eviction that saw the restoration of Muyenga Club Signposts arises out of a court order comes four months after the controversial death of Mr Sebalu, a former managing partner of Sebalu and Lule Advocates.
However, Mr Sematimba alleged that the orders defeated the purpose of the interim order making it a perpetual eviction to dispose of the main case and any other proceedings in relation to the case hence denying Muyenga Resort Hotel a chance to be heard.