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    How Bank Of Uganda Appeal Cost Tycoon Sudhir Cash Deal To Host Bobi Wine’s Presidential Petition At His Posh Munyonyo Resort Hotel….

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    Chief Justice Owiny Dollo (inset top) and Tycon Sudhir Ruparelia (inset bottom)

    Late last week, a decision was taken by top judicial officers and Justices of the Supreme Court not to hold the 2021 presidential petition at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Hotel owned by city tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia.

    theGrapevine got reports that some members in the judiciary had suggested that the hearing of the presidential petition be held at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Hotel to control the spread of COVID-19, this was confirmed by the Judiciary senior Communications officer Ssalongo Solomon Muyita who disclosed that there was a proposal to hold the presidential petition at Munyonyo but a final decision had not been reached when the justices of the Supreme Court meet.

    Credible Sources at the Supreme Court revealed that during the meeting to finalise which venue was going to be used to hear the presidential petition, some of the nine supreme Court Justices who were appointed by the Chief Justice Owiny Dollo to hear the petition protested the Munyonyo venue.

    According to a source privy to the details of the meeting, a female Justice of the Supreme Court told the Chief Justice that the decision to hold the presidential petition at Sudhir’s hotel was going to put them as Justices of the Supreme Court in bad light and it will show a conflict of interests.

    “She told the Chief Justice that they have a public interest Appeal where Sudhir is a party and has keen interest in it. The lady Justice reminded them that when Sudhir’s matter comes before them, the other party will argue that the Justices were compromised when they spent weeks at the tycoon’s hotel,” the source said.

    Sudhir’s controversial Appeal against Bank of Uganda over the closing of Crane Bank is pending before the Supreme Court.

    Chief Justice Dollo agreed with his colleagues that they cannot sit at Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Hotel, they later decided to hold the presidential petition at Supreme Court compound and parking and a decision was taken to hire Fotogenix to put up three huge tents where the petition is going to be heard from.

    In the meeting, the Justices asked the concerned authorities to speed up the completion of the Judiciary Complex at the High Court Criminal Division where all Courts are going to be housed to avoid renting because it sometimes puts them in a hard position especially when people look at them as compromised when matters of their landlords come to court.

    Judiciary is renting Twed Towers where the Constitutional Court/Court of Appeal, High Court Lands Division, High Court Civil Division are located. It also rents the premises where the Supreme Court is.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    MY MONEY

    Justice Adonyo Erred In Tycoon Kiggundu, DTB Bank’s Shs120bn Case – Court Of Appeal Declares, Orders Fresh Hearing By Different Judge…

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    Ham Kiggundu had taken DTB to court alleging that it had made illegal withdrawals from his account amounting to billions of shillings.

    The Court of Appeal has today rescinded an earlier ruling by the commercial court which had directed Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Uganda and DTB Kenya to refund at least Shs 120 billion to businessman Hamis Kiggundu.

    Kiggundu had taken DTB to court alleging that it had made illegal withdrawals from his account amounting to billions of shillings.

    Three Justices led by Justice Richard Buteera- the Deputy Chief Justice have declared that Justice Henry Peter Adonyo erred when he dismissed Shs120bn Commercial case in favor of City tycoon Hamis Kiggundu- the proprietor of Ham Enterprises Limited against Diamond Trust Bank Limited.

    In his led Judgement, Justice Buteera agrees with Justice Christopher Madrama and justice Kenneth Kakuru that former Commercial Court Judge Adonyo erred to struck out the respondent’s joint written statement of defense and entered Judgement for the plaintiffs under Order 9 Rules 6, 8, 10 and 30 and Orders 52 Rules 1, 2 and 3 Civil procedures Rules.

    “In the instant case, this was not a claim for liquidated sum and this fact is brought out by the trial Judge in his ruling of 30th September 2020 where the trial Judge directed the institution of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to appoint an independent auditor to carry out a full account reconciliation of the financial transactions which are based on the credit facilities between the plaintiffs and defendants to determine the amounts due inter partes be stayed pending hearing and determination of Misc. Application No 654 of 2020,” Justice Buteera stated.

    The Justices insist that it was an error made by the trial judge to struck out the written statements of the defense and enter a judgement for the plaintiffs under Order 9 Rule 6 of the CPR since their claims were not liquidated and the defendants had not failed to file a defense and the issue of failing to file defense never arose in the proceedings.

    The Justices further wondered how Judge Adonyo entered a interlocutory judgement under 0.9 Rule 8  without giving reasons that the defendants failed to file their defense in time and the trial Judge himself acknowledges in his Judgement that both parties files their submissions in time.

    The learned Justices pointed out that there is no law that makes it illegal for a Ugandan Citizen or a foreigner resident in Uganda to borrow or pay back money borrowed from a foreign institution, a Bank or any other organization unless the transaction involves the perpetuation of criminal offences such as terrorism, money laundering, human trafficking or any other offences.

    The Justices indicated that the only loan agreement tainted with perpetuation of an offence would not be enforced by a Ugandan Court.

    “A loan agreement with a foreigner or a foreign entity, weather the contract is executed in Uganda or outside Uganda would be enforced by a Ugandan Court in accordance with the terms of the agreement the parties, the laws of the respective countries in which the agreement is made and or is executed and international laws and obligation of mixed law and fact that be adjudicated upon,” Justice Kakuru stated.

    The Justices agreed that Justice Adonyo’s Judgement be set a side and the respondents have been ordered to bear the costs of the Appeal.

    They ordered that the said suit be taken back to the High Court Commercial Division and be expeditiously fixed and heard by another Judge. They also ordered that the proceedings shall commence on the pleadings before the High Court before the amended plaint and written statements of Defense which have been struck off.

    Tycoon Kiggundu run to the High Court Commercial Division challenging DTB Uganda to collect his money from his bank Account when he did not borrow money from them rather borrow from DTB Kenya. The trial Judge agrees with him that DTB Uganda did not have the powers to withdraw his money because they did not lend the applicant and DTB Kenya did not have the license to carry out any business transaction in Uganda.

    The judge dismissed the entire case without hearing the merit of the case with costs and directed the defendants to pay Shs120bn with 8% interest, Costs of the matter and return all the applicant’s land titles which the bank confiscated. It should also be remembered that Ham petitioned the Constitutional court challenging the constitutionality of Regulation 13 of the Mortgage act, that requires Bank Customers to first deposit 30% of the disputed amount in the filled case before the hearing can proceed.

    However, Kiggundu through his lawyer Fred Muwema noted that they are going to appeal to the Supreme Court challenging Court of Appeal’s decision claiming that it was a biased decision and they were compromised.

    By Joel K Wansaale

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    MY MONEY

    Don’t Sign On That NHIS Bill, It Will Scare Away Investors – Minister Aceng Tells M7…

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    Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng (L) has advised President Yoweri Museveni (R) against signing on the NHIS bill into a law

    The Cabinet Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has advised President Yoweri Museveni against signing on the recently passed contentious National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) bill by the Parliament.

    The NHIS bill seeks to provide universal healthcare to all Ugandans. It sounds very impressive, bit how it is planned to be executed is what raises alarm for some ‘concerned’ people.

    Dr Aceng has confirmed to theGrapevine that she has indeed written to the president, requesting him to desist from signing on the bill into law, citing that it’s unfair to the public.

    “Ugandans are low payers and low earners, yet requested to pay for the needs of the people?” she noted with concern. She cited for instance health workers who have already been complaining about low salaries, and the negativity it would bring about to further suggest another 4% of the same.

    She insists that if the bill is signed by the president and turned into law, it will easily scare away the investors who would wish to invest their money in the country because they would now have to bear with spending alot on workers; from paying for the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and other legal requirements.

    The passing of the same bill was however highly contested, and only came after members rejected Health State Minister in charge of general duties Robinah Nabanja’s motion to withdraw the Bill.

    Nabanja’s plea that the government wanted to withdraw the Bill pending more consultations was overpowered in Parliament.

    Even in 2006 when  government announced plans to introduce the NHIS where all Ugandan residents would be required to have a health insurance policy, many stakeholders criticised the plan claiming its another burden to employees.

    By Alirabaki Sengooba

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    CELEBRITY GOSSIP

    Inside Akon’s Meeting With M7: It Was Totally “Personal” Bussiness, He Might End Up Setting Another “Real-Life” Wakanda City In Uganda…

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    Akon (R) sharing a light moment with President Museveni (L) at his Rwakitura country home

    Senegalese- American singer Akon has left many people talking since his arrival in Uganda yesterday morning.

    What Brings Akon To Uganda?

    With others excited and some questioning Akon’s visit to Uganda, the rap star’s trip to the pearl of Africa is solely in search of investment opportunities that would extend his business footprint in Africa, where his efforts include a planned futuristic city.

    The singer, real names Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam jetted into the country to meet President Museveni at the latter’s country home in Rwakitura.

    On arrival, Akon who was welcomed by Ugandan BET award winner Eddy Kenzo first visited the Old Kampala Mosque where he held prayers with Mufti Sheikh Shaban Ramathan Mubajje, before he boarded a military chopper to Rwakitura to have a talk with President Yoweri Museveni.

    Amb. Abbey Walusimbi, the Senior Presidential Advisor on Diaspora affairs said Akon’s visit is a follow-up of an earlier visit by his wife Rozina Negusei earlier in February which ended with a promise to return with husband and investors.

    The singer on arrival was accompanied by a delegation of CEOs from over 13 companies from USA, Turkey, UK and France.

    While in Uganda, Akon’s wife, Negusei pledged to invest $12m USD in the country’s entertainment sector.

    According to Amb. Walusimbi, Akon came to meet the president as a potential investor. He is here to explore more investment opportunities, Walusimbi confirmed.

    “Akon and his wife, have come to Uganda in search of business opportunities in a number of sectors like energy, tourism, and infrastructure development. I am happy to engage in such a discussion that will uplift our people and Africa at large,” President Museveni said.

    “Mama Janet Museveni and I told Akon and his wife that Uganda is the best tourism destination, known for its fantastic weather, considering that we are right on the Equator but with a high altitude. This is unique! There are only about two other places gifted that much, the President added.

    Amb. Walusimbi further noted how the Senegalese singer who has established himself as a big investor after recently acquiring a mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo has also set up several investments including the Akon city back home in Senegal.

    “Indeed if all goes well, you never know he might end up setting another Akon city in Uganda,” Walusimbi added.

    Akon City: A “Real-Life” Wakanda

    A Grammy-nominated singer and record producer, Akon has made headlines in recent years as a pan-African businessman interested in opportunities on the continent of 1.3 billion people. In December a company associated with Akon reached a deal with a state miner to develop a copper and cobalt mine in resource-rich Congo.

    But Akon’s most ambitious goal is to build a $6 billion utopian city in Senegal that he described as a “real-life Wakanda,” comparing it to the technologically advanced fictional African place portrayed in the blockbuster film “Black Panther.”

    The singer last year acknowledged the comparisons made between Akon City and the utopian society in “Black Panther,” calling it an “honor.”

    Akon City is envisaged to have its own hospital, police station and even its own cryptocurrency already named AKoin. It promises a bit of everything: a seaside resort, a tech hub, recording studios and even a zone dubbed “Senewood” that developers hope will help develop Senegal’s film industry.

    About The Akon Lighting Africa Project

    theGrapevine understands that over 6 years back, Akon started a group  that backs solar energy projects in the rural parts of many African countries. The inspiration for Akon Lighting Africa was deeply personal; he found his grandmother was still using candles in Senegal to light her home.

    The singer was then inspired to come up with the Akon Lighting Africa project started in 2014 by himself, with Samba Bathily and Thione Niang. The project aims to provide electricity by solar energy in Africa, and their initial technique is to install solar street lights and small energy systems.

    By Baron Kironde

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