Ten-year case against tycoon Kirumira set for judgment

Thursday November 8 2018



Businessman Godfrey Kirumira . FILE PHOTO

Businessman Godfrey Kirumira . FILE PHOTO 

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

KAMPALA- The case in which businessman Godfrey Kirumira is accused of fraudulently purchasing a school property at Kitende on Entebbe Road awaits judgment.
High Court Judge Elizabeth Jane Alividza of the Commercial Division Wednesday said she will deliver judgment on notice to conclude a nearly ten- year dispute.

“Let me have the final submissions from the plaintiffs and judgment will be prepared,” Justice Alividza ordered.
Mr Kirumira who was not in court was jointly sued with DFCU Bank and city lawyer, Mr Kabiito Karamagi over fraudulent sale and acquisition of the school property under caveat and undervaluation.

In 2008, Mr Stephen Sendagire and his wife Ms Gladys Nannyombi, the former proprietors of Bright Future Vocational Senior Secondary School filed the case in the Commercial Court claiming that the bank sold their school property worth more than Shs1.4 billion to Mr Kirumira at a cost of Shs300 million.Testifying before Commercial Court, Mr Sendagire and his wife Ms Nannyombi told said Mr Kirumira conspired with DFCU bank to fraudulently acquire their school. They also accused Mr Kirumira of dishonesty.

Court documents indicate that between May 2005 and May 2006, Mr Sendagire mortgaged the school at Shs460 million but he was given Shs280 million in installments and another Shs35 million was given differently which accumulated to Shs315 million.

In his testimony, Mr Sendagire accused Kirumira of dishonesty and claimed that he had earlier promised to clear the DFCU debt but instead connived with the bank official to take over their school.
In their submission to court last year, Mr Sendagire and Ms Nannyombi accused Mr Kirumira of grabbing their brand name for school without permission.
It is alleged that DFCU Bank connived with Mr Kabiito who acted as the receiver and Mr Kirumira to declare that the use of the property was residential and undeveloped yet it was commercial.

However, in his statement of defence, Mr Karamagi told court that the bank had instructed and obtained a valuation report dated June 14 2007 by M/s Associated Consulting Surveyors that opined market value of Shs550 million but he forced sale value of Shs330 million for the said property.
At the previous court session, a valuation Surveyor in the Lands Ministry, Ms Lucy Kabenge told court that she oversaw the transfer process of a school property at Kitende on Entebbe, without visiting the physical location but basing on mere documentation.
Ms Kabenge, an official attached to the Chief Government Valuer’s office also testified that she did not go to the property to verify its value before approving with the value of stamp duty.

The practice is that before the transfer process is sealed, the concerned official has to first visit the physical location of the property to access it. In his defence Kirumira claims he bought the disputed school from DFCU bank. He asked court to dismiss the case even as the couple accuses him of grabbing their school and other properties.

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