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    How City Businessman Sentongo Took First Win In The Shs10bn Legal War Against DTB Bank…

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    City businessman Haruna Sentongo the proprietor of Haruna Enterprises Uganda Limited is smiling from ear to ear after bagging the first win in the Shs10bn legal fight against Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Uganda and Kenya branches respectively.

    Justice John Oscar Kihika of the Court of Appeal which also doubles as the Constitutional Court has issued a temporary injunction restraining the bank’s  agents, representatives, nominees assignees and/or successors in title from selling, transferring, alienating, evicting, dealing with and or in any way interfering with Sentongo’s interest and possession of the properties comprised in Block 12 Plots 538, 826 and 898 at Mengo until the determination of appeal against the the Commercial Division of the High Court Judgment.

    Sentongo through his lawyers lead by Commercial law giant Derrick Bazekuketta filed an application to the Court of Appeal alleging that his multibillion property is under a serious threat as banks have sent brokers to inspect the property with the suitable buyers claiming that it was available for sale on orders of the court.

    In his affidavit, guided by Bazekuketta, Sentongo pleaded to Court to stop the selling of his property insisting that his appeal is meritorious and he has higher chances of winning the appeal against the bank.

    He explained to the presiding justice at the Commercial Division of the High Court erred in law and in fact when he dismissed his entire case on technicality because he failed to honour his directive to fiIe trial bundle within the timelines he directed noting that to his surprise even the bank didn’t file the said trial bundle.

    He insisted that his failure was caused by the grant of an order for leave to amend his plaint and the subsequent pleadings.

    However, the bank through their lawyers led by Stephen Zimula protested the application relying on the affidavit of Emajeit Mbabazi. Zimula raised two preliminary points of law insisting that the application is incomplete before the Court of Appeal.

    In his submissions, Zimula told Court that the said application was supposed to be first filed in the High Court before proceeding to the Court of Appeal insisting that the Order issued by the High Court is a negative order that is not capable of being stayed.

    Counsel informed Court that the rule against issuing a stay order in respect to a negative order cannot be circumvented merely by terming the order sought as an injunction.

    In reply, armed with a number of authorities, Bazekuketta told Court that in an application for temporary injunction, it is not mandatory for the Applicant to first file the Application at the High Court noting that laws and rules allow him to rush to the Appellate Court directly.

    He also argued that his application before the said Court is one seeking for a temporary injunctive order and the same is validly before the court.

    He explained to the Court that his application is for a temporary injunction and not an order of stay of execution of a negative order.

    He pleaded with counsel Zimula to carefully revise his law books so that they help him not to confuse an application for stay of execution with an application for a temporary injunction.

    Justice Kihika agreed with counsel Bazekekutte’s submissions noting that it would not be possible for Sentongo to file an application for a temporary injunction in the High Court in the absence of a pending suit explaining that the only option available to him was to file the application before the Court of Appeal.

    “I therefore found that this application for a temporary injunction is properly before this court. The first preliminary point of law is thus over ruled,” the judge stated in his ruling.

    He further disagreed with counsel Zimula’s argument that Sentongo’s application is seeking a stay of a negative order of dismissal which is not capable of being stayed explaining that it is clear that the application seeks an order for a temporary injunction against the bank restraining its agents and other people working in the bank’s interest from interfering with his interest and possession of his properties comprised in Block 12 Plots 538, 826 and 898 at Mengo until the termination of the appeal.

    Justice Kihika explained that a temporary injunction is intended to maintain the status quo of things pending the determination by court of some serious cause pending before it.

    He noted that the granting of a temporary injunction is an exercise of judicial discretion and the purpose of granting it is to preserve the matters in the status quo until the question is investigated in the main suit and disposed of.

    He cited the conditions for the grant of a temporary injunction which include; the applicant must show a prima facie case with a probability of success and that such injunction will not normally be granted unless the applicant might otherwise suffer irreparable injury which would not adequately be compensated by an award of damages.

    He further stated that a temporary injunction can be issued and if Court is in doubt, it would decide an application on the balance of convenience. He added that a temporary injunction is granted so as to prevent the ends of justice from being defeated.

    On the issue of likelihood of success, Justice Kihika stated that Sentongo stated in his affidavit in support of his application that the appeal is meritorious, raises serious questions for determination of the Court of Appeal and has a high likelihood of success.

    He further agreed with Sentongo who stated that on 30th March, 2023, his matter came up for hearing and timelines were issued by the trial judge of the High Court on when to file witness statements, trial bundles and a joint scheduling memorandum.

    He added that On 14th April, Sentongo filed his witness statement and on 18th he applied for leave to amend the plaint, which leave was granted.

    Following the grant of his application, an amended plaint was filed on 21st June 2023 and in November, the bank filed an application seeking for further and better particulars.

    On 29th November, 2023, the trial Judge dismissed the suit under Order 1 Rule 4 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

    In conclusion, Justice Kihika therefore considered that Sentongo has convinced Court that he has a prima facie case pending determination of his appeal before the Court of Appeal.

    On the issue of whether Sentongo will suffer irreparable damage or that the appeal will be rendered nugatory when the temporary order is granted, Justice Kihika base on Sentongo’s affidavit where he stated that he acquired the suit land in 2014 and it took him over 5 years to develop the same with a market he named ‘Nakayiza’ after his mother.

    He added that he has a sentimental attachment on the property that cannot be compensated for in damages if the property is sold. The property in the instant case is a commercial building with a market whose rent proceeds can be ascertained.

    “In my understanding, the applicant has to show that the damage bound to be suffered is such that it cannot be undone. It is therefore my considered view that the Applicant will suffer irreparable damage if this application is not granted,” the justice ruled.

    On the issue of balance of convenience, Justice Kihika explained that it is determined to lie more on the one who will suffer more if the bank is not restrained in the activities complained of in the said case insisting that the balance of convenience favors Sentongo if the application is not granted.

    He based on the evidence that Sentongo is in possession of the suit property which is a commercial building with various tenants carrying out business and the sale of the property will be to the detriment of him. That is why he wants to maintain the status quo until the determination of the appeal pending before the Court of Appeal.

    Court records seen by the mighty Grapevine indicate that in 2015, Sentongo approached the bank for a financial facility for completion of the commercial blocks for Segawa Market which was to be rented out to tenants to derive rental income.

    Both parties executed a facility in a letter dated 22nd February, 2016, for a Loan of Shs5bn and it was agreed that the facility would only be serviced through rent collections from the market if the bank funded the development.

    Sentongo claims that the bank breached the facility contract by failing to disburse the agreed sums of monies.

    Court documents show that Sentongo told the Commercial Division of the High Court that the bank would purport to credit his bank account, and synonymously liquidate the loan, paying itself back immediately with the sums credited, and the sums it would repay itself were always reflected as “Loan amounts recovered”.

    The bank on the other hand, according to court documents claimed that between February to October 2016, Sentongo was granted several loan facilities and at his request, they were consolidated into one term loan with a single monthly instalment amortized for a period of five years.

    He however, failed to meet his loan repayment obligations consequent upon which the bank issued him two notices of default.

    The bank further claimed that when they started the process of recovering their sum of Shs10bn, Sentongo decided to institute a lawsuit and was defeated at the Commercial Division of the High Court.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    Leaders Of Traders Panicking After M7 Directs Investigation Over Allegations Of An Invisible Foreign Hand Fueling Their Strikes To Sabotage Economy…

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    L-R: Some of the leaders of traders: Godfrey Katongole, David Kabanda and Thadeus Musoke

    Kampala Metropolitan Senior Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda has exclusively confirmed to theGrapevine that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the country’s intelligence organs and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to investigate the alleged invisible hand behind traders’ leadership.

    She explained that preliminary investigations have established that some leaders of traders who are advocating for endless strikes are biased in their decisions because there is an invisible hand pushing them with an agenda of sabotaging the country’s economy and creating an ungovernable situation.

    “We know whatever they are planning. Our people are on ground, so they should stand warned,” Kabanda said.

    She revealed that President Museveni was shocked to establish that in Kampala city alone, traders have more than 30 associations and each one of them has command.

    This has created suspicion and the need for an investigation to establish their true motives.

    The development comes at a time when traders are threatening to go into a two months strike without opening their shops in the city center if president Museveni doesn’t address their demands including the banning of the Electronic Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS).

    On 7th May 2024, Museveni directed Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to sit down with leaders of traders and sort out their differences.

    The President guided that once these leaders and URA agree, they should make a joint report which they should read to him and other traders on 20th of June 2024 at Kololo independence grounds.

    However, before that meeting, Minister Kabanda has disclosed that Museveni is set to meet leaders of traders in the State House to have some issues sorted out noting that government is doing everything in its power to make sure that what happened on 7th May 2024 never happens again.

    She explained that it was bad for traders to shout at the President and embarrass senior government officials to the extent of accusing some of corruption insisting that traders’ behavior sent a warning signal to government that there must be an invisible hand influencing and facilitating them.

    theGrapevine has established that the leadership of Kampala City Traders Association(KACITA) led by Thadeus Musoke Nagenda, Federation of Uganda Traders Association(FUTA), Katukazane Shoe Dealers, Kampala Arcaders Advocacy Forum, United Arcarders Traders Enterprenuers Association,  Uganda Needy and Squatters Association have resolved to join hands and strategise on how to come up with a common voice before the President.

    Highly placed sources in intelligence have revealed to theGrapevine that all eyes are on David Kabanda who is being investigated for working for some opposition bigwigs who promised him support in the coming elections.

    Sources said that Kabanda wants to become the city councilor on Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago’s council.

    However, veteran journalist and the Senior presidential advisor on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi advised Museveni not to take lightly statements made in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords that King Charles’s leadership should influence regime change in Uganda.

    He explained that the western powers are going to use all the available means to sabotage Museveni’s leadership insisting that there is invisible hand in traders’ frequent strikes.

    But a section of KACITA leadership told theGrapevine that there are people in President Museveni’s government who are facilitating the creation of endless traders associations with the aim of benefiting from them and fighting the unity among traders.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    UNTOLD STORY: How SFC Commandos Defused Trader’s Plan To Publicly Embarrass M7 And Some Ministers At Kololo As War On EFRIS Deepens…

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    Some of the traders during their meeting with President Musevei. Iset are their leaders Kabanda (R) and Musoke (L)

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was overwhelmed and openly told angry traders to stop intimidating him but instead listen to him just like he also listened to them for more than two hours.

    Museveni made the statement after some traders started shouting on top of their voices.

    Some of them even started to move out of Kololo while he was still speaking.

    However, they were stopped by Special Forces Command (SFC) Commandos from getting out of the Kololo Independence ground gates until the President finished speaking.

    SFC Commandos told some of these angry traders that they had come to listen to the President and since he gave them time, they should also wait until he finishes. One by one they were forced to go back to their seats in the tent.

    President Museveni’s 1981 war comrade and political competitor Dr. Kizza Besigye revealed that it is the first time in many years that he has seen Museveni being publicly embarrassed by civilians.

    However, the mighty Grapevine has exclusively learnt that what happened at Kololo was not accidental but a planned move which was defused by SFC Commandos.

    Highly placed sources within traders leadership revealed that on the fateful day of 7th May 2024, a section of traders leadership held a private meeting in the morning at the offices of the Kampala Acarders Traders Association (KATA) chaired by Godfrey Katongole.

    Others in the attendance included; Moses Lwegaba on behalf of Katukazane shoe traders, John Kabanda who represented the Kampala New Generation Traders Association and also the Federation of Uganda Traders Association.

    Sources divulged that the gist of the meeting was to strategise on how to counter the submissions of Dr. Thaddeus Musoke Nagenda the chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) and his Secretary Isa Ssekito.

    They suspected that KACITA had plans of diverting the President from addressing the real issues by resorting to praising him.

    They alleged that they established that on several occasions, KACITA has held private meetings with the president without the knowledge of the traders.

    Before the meeting openly started, Kabanda was grilled and placed on the spot to declare his secret relationship with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) senior minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda after his colleagues openly told him that he also might be working with their enemies.

    Kabanda denied the allegations.

    The traders leadership became suspicious of Kabanda when he supported Minister Minsa in one of the precursor heated meeting at Hotel African where she was trying to convince all traders not to bring the issue of landlords who are mistreating them before the president because it was not discussed in the previous meeting held in State House in April 2024.

    They told Kabanda that what he did to support the Minister was an act of betrayal because he also knows very well that landlords harass them just like the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS).

    They started accusing him of being bribed by landlords.

    Traders disclosed that it seems the landlords who Kabanda wanted to save are the ones who supported his lavish wedding last week. The meeting ended in fighting and Minister Minsa was saved by his security.

    In the Tuesday meeting, Kabanda assured fellow traders leadership that he is with them and a decision was taken to inform their respective members on their different WhatsApp groups to storm out of the meeting immediately once they discover that Museveni is not going to ban the use of EFRIS.,

    This is what they tried to do but the move was fused by SFC Commandos.

    However, before Museveni addressed the traders, some of their leaders had successfully executed their mission of exposing Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja Musafire and Junior Minster for investment Evelyn Anite who they declared a mafia who takes fake investors to President Museveni who give her incentives.

    They accused the said investors of facilitating smuggling of goods into the country.

    Minister Minsa, who feared that traders were going to embarrass her before her boss was forced off the microphone because they were shouting at her for not helping them.

    Sources said that the ministers were embarrassed before their boss because some leaders of the traders have information that they are sealing deals with KACITA leadership which are costing the common trader.

    Traders further sent a warning message to President Museveni, his ministers and Members of Parliament (MP) that if their issues are not solved they are ready to stand against them or support by financially facilitating their opponents in the coming elections.

    Democratic Party’s Richard Ssebamala the Bukoto Central MP warned President Museveni to be very careful with traders issues because for a long time, they have not been involving themselves in political issues especially during elections but only concentrated on their businesses.

    But now that they have issues, if these concerns are not properly resolved, it may be a spark for his downfall.

    Some Ministers were shocked when angry traders praised fired trade minister Harriet Ntambazi telling Museveni that mafias in the Ministry of Finance and those in the Trade Ministry fought her and misled the President even though she always acted swiftly in resolving their problems.

    theGrapevine established that Ntambazi always supported Kabanda’s leadership and she was a ground minister who attended traders meetings in Kikuubo and other places and one time she nearly survived being tear gassed by police in Kikuubo who accussed he of attending an illegal meeting.

    However, former trade minister Amelia Kyambadde claims that people who make such statements before the president are always paid by the side which is fighting a certain government official who is embarrassed before the president.

    Nabbanja denied the allegations that she is not responding to Kabanda’s letters and explained to the President that she has never seen any letter from Kabanda.

    She wondered why Kabanda didn’t come to her country home in Kakumiro district since he is a son from the neighbouring Mubende district.

    Sources disclosed that Kampala city junior minister Christopher Kabuye Kyofatogabye predicted that he was going to be embarrassed before the president because the traders accussed him of being very arrogant and using the divide and rule method to frustrate their fight against high taxation.

    He decided not to attend the meeting but his car was cited at the premises of Kololo Independent ground.

    Even though the traders were served drinks and food, with some claiming that over 20 cows were slaughtered for them, some have decided that they will not attend the next meeting  with the President come 20th of June 2026.

    Sources added that a section of traders’ leadership are buying the proposal that the 20th June meeting should only be attended by their leaders. But Kabanda insists that all traders should attend.

    Other traders want to get an expert in tax laws to lead them during their negotiations with URA insisting that URA officials are exploiting their ignorance on tax issues to double tax them.

    Sources among the traders disclosed that they have started engaging Kabanda not to politicize their fight against high taxation by threatening that if EFRIS is not banned, they will carry out a three months strike by closing their shops.

    However, Dr. Besigye predicted that Museveni is going to use guerrilla war tactics to divide traders and very soon they are going to start fighting each other.

    Joseph Tamale Mirundi the senior presidential advisor on media told theGrapevine that Museveni will not ban EFRIS because banning it will attract other people including policemen and women, teachers, doctors to strike because they will have established that he fears strike.

    He added that traders lack serious knowledgeable leaders who can compromise Museveni to side with them.

    He insisted that Museveni clearly know that people like Ssekito are dealers who are always used by his opponents and government mafias to pressurize him on traders’ issues, which is why he does not respect them.

    He questioned the expertise of URA and Ministry of Finance when it comes to traders and tax issues because instead of widening the tax base they are harassing the poor traders.

    He however challenged Museveni on the issue of stopping traders from importing goods from abroad revealing that much of the products which they would have exported with additional value are monopolised by members of his family so the traders don’t want to enter open competition.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    KCCA Minister Kabuye Narrates How He Survived Being Humiliated In State House By Angry Traders Before M7…

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    Minister Kabuye Kyofatogabye (L) with KACITA boss Thaddeus Musoke (R)

    Maverick Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Junior Minister Joseph Christopher Kabuye Kyofatogabye has narrated how he survived being humiliated by angry traders at State House before his boss President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni last week.

    Minister Kabuye was part of the team that organised the meeting between President Museveni and traders to solve their tax grievances with Uganda Revenue Authority  (URA) after they closed their shops for a week.

    The angry traders were protesting against the high tax levies slapped on them and the use of the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) as a mechanism to collect taxes.

    Minister Kabuye revealed that he chickened out of the meeting at the last moment because his intelligence briefed him at the last hour before the meeting that there was a group of traders who had strategised to humiliate him before the President like they tried to do to URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki.

    theGrapevine recently reported how a female trader, a one Doreen Nakirya shocked the meeting when she told the President that Rujoki’s men sexually harass female traders when collecting taxes and the president directed his Special Forces Command (SFC) detectives to record statements from both from Nakirya and the male taxman who she accused of sexual harassment. They were later released.

    Kabuye said that a section of traders were not happy when he told them not to first consult National Unity Platform (NUP) boss Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) on what to tell Museveni yet others were planning to ‘Kulabisa’ Museveni as Bobi Wine encouraged them to do by exposing and humiliating leaders.

    “Those people who were stopped at the State House gate were not traders but they were taken to State House to humiliate me. Never joke with the government, it has intelligence,” Kabuye boasted.

    Sources within the traders associations confirmed the allegation adding that they wanted to tell the president that Kabuye was using government’s money to bribe a section of traders to withdraw from the strike so that he is praised as an influential minister in the city.

    The sources added that when Kabuye invited the traders at Africana Hotel to discuss their issues before meeting the president, he came with people who they didn’t know in the trader’s circle and his plan was to declare before the media that they are ready to open the shops.

    “We identified them before the meeting and we started grilling them to tell us where they operate business from and their shop numbers. When they failed, we forced them out of the meeting and we frustrated Kabuye’s meeting,” one of the leaders in the trader association said.

    He divulged that they wanted to tell the President that Kabuye is very arrogant and doesn’t listen to them and like former KCCA Executive Director Jenniffer Musisi, he runs the city on orders.

    He added that they know that political leaders are mobilizing non traders to be taken to President Museveni’s meeting on 7th May 2024 at Kololo Independent grounds to tell lies to the big man.

    On that date, Museveni is expected to make a final announcement on the issue of EFRIS.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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