Court dismisses Bitature’s application seeking protection from prosecution over loan

Businessman Patrick Bitature 

What you need to know:

  • "'The application catastrophically lacks a legal basis. Consequently, the application is hereby dismissed"
  • The businessman's lawyer, Fred Muwema was ordered to pay costs of the application 

Businessman Patrick Bitature alongside his companies; Simba properties Co. Ltd, Simba telecom among others, can be privately sued by Vantage Mezzanine Fund II partnership in a bid to recover a loan it extended to the businessman eight years ago.
The businessman had run to the Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala, seeking a temporary injunction against Vantage and it's agencies from commencing any private prosecution or legal action until final disposal of a pending contempt of court case.
But in his ruling delivered this morning, Justice Stephen Mubiru dismissed the businessman’s application for "lack of legal basis".
"The applicants' (Mr Bitature and his companies) need for such protection must be weighed against the corresponding need of the respondents (Vantage) to be protected against injury resulting from being prevented from exercising  their own legal rights for which it may not be adequately compensated in damages if uncertainty were resolved in its favour at the trial," ruled Justice Mubiru.
Adding: "Having done so, I find that the balance of convenience is in favour of the respondents (Vantage). The application catastrophically lacks a legal basis. Consequently, the application is hereby dismissed."

The judge also condemned Bitature’s lawyer, Mr Fred Muwema to pay costs of the application for not having professionally advised the businessman and his companies not to institute such a case that catastrophically lacked a legal basis.

"...It qualifies as a rare and exceptional case where it would not be fair for the applicants (Mr Bitature and his companies) to bear costs. The costs of this application must be met personally by counsel on record (Mr Muwema) for the applicants," Justice Mubiru condemned counsel Muwema.
The judge emphasized that if Mr Muwema had exercised his legal competence and professionally advised his clients, the legal costs and wastage of time would have been avoided.

Court documents show that in December 2014, Simba Properties Ltd and Simba telecom, executed an agreement (the Mezzanine Term Facility) with Vantge Mezzanine in which they borrowed unspecified sums of money.
The securities executed for the said borrowed money, were in the names of the businessman's properties, which now stand to be auctioned.
 

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