What you need to know:
- In 2015, the Germany-based university entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mr Yusufu Kyeyune, a Ugandan, with its core task of setting up a vocational university in Uganda called KAPROVOCSS.
The Court of Appeal has ordered a fresh hearing of a case in which a Germany-based university, the European Schools of Applied Sciences-GGMBH, sued a Ugandan couple over alleged diversion of funds for private use.
The German University claims to have sent 153,000 euro (about Shs604m) to Mr Yusufu Kyeyune to construct a vocational university branch in Uganda but instead, alongside his wife and children, he allegedly constructed a secondary school dubbed Katende Progressive Vocational School.
“In the matter before us, the appellant’s claim is that they were aggrieved by the actions of the respondents who were advanced money and materials to start a university but that the respondents instead converted the money and materials to a secondary school, unrelated to the appellants’ intended purpose,” Justice Catherine Bamugemereire who wrote the lead judgment, held.
She added: “In my view those facts disclose a cause of action. Dismissing this appeal on preliminary points, without a hearing, would cause an injustice. I, therefore, find that the appellant has an interest in this matter and has the capacity to sue and should be heard. In the result, this appeal succeeds in favour of the appellant. The ruling of the High Court is hereby set aside.”
The court further ordered that the file be remitted to the Commercial Division of the High Court and heard on its merits.
“This suit is remitted to the High Court for a full trial to be conducted preferably before another Judge. The costs in this appeal shall abide by the outcome in the lower court,” Justice Bamugemereire held.
The other justices were Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera and Christopher Gashirabake.
The Commercial Court had dismissed the case on technicalities of the German-based university not having legal capacity to “sue” and to be “sued” in Uganda, which decision was appealed, leading to yesterday’s decision of the Court of Appeal to have the same matter sent back to the High Court for fresh hearing.
By press time last evening, it was not clear when the Commercial Division would implement the appellate court’s order.
In 2015, the Germany-based university entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mr Yusufu Kyeyune, a Ugandan, with its core task of setting up a vocational university in Uganda called KAPROVOCSS.
The Ugandan university was to be its branch in the country.
Court documents showed that Mr Kyeyune found land in Katende, Mpigi District and instead established a secondary school, contrary to the MoU.
“The 2nd respondent (Mr Kyeyune) is said to have breached the conditions of the MoU,” the court documents read in part.
Adding: “The 2nd respondent continued receiving money from the appellant company on behalf of the 1st respondent to a tune of 153,000 euro for the construction and running of the university.”
The university claims it also sent equipment from Germany to Mr Kyeyune in two different containers, each costing Shs12m.