Businessman Ham set to drag his battle with DTB to the Supreme Court

Hamis Kiggundu

City businessman Hamis Kiggundu has decided to further his multi-billion case against Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Uganda and Kenya branches to the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal canceled out the Commercial Court’s decision on Wednesday.

Mr Kiggundu announced this decision on Thursday through his lawyers Fred Muwema and Arnold Kimala.

“The Court of Appeal did not just refuse to pronounce itself on the illegalities committed by DTB, in an act derogating its appellate mandate, it also abandoned the grounds of illegality presented in the appeal. We have instructions to file an appeal in the Supreme Court, but we shall also be filing suits in the courts in Kenya and in the East African Court of Justice,” Mr Muwema, Ham’s lawyer told Daily Monitor.

It should be recalled that Mr Kiggundu took legal action against DTB Uganda and Kenya in January last year for purported breach of contract through his companies. 

Ham who had borrowed money from the two banks fell behind in paying back. The banks sought to collect their  arrears from him. Ham instead filed a suit in the Commercial Court quoting irregularities in the lending agreement.

The young businessman brought in statements and declarations showing that the bank had breached several loan agreements the two parties got involved in  between February 16 2011-November 16, 2019, an allegation the two  banks denied.

The banks contend that Mr Kiggundu with his two companies held accounts with them and on different dates borrowed $6.7m equivalent to Shs24b, Shs1.5b, Shs1b, $4m approximated at Shs14b and $500,000 which is equal to Shs1.8b. 

The banks went ahead to also say that DTB Uganda acted within the law and that it was not a representative for its Kenyan sister bank.

Justice Henry Peter Adonyo in his ruling said  that since DTB Kenya was not authorized to execute financial business in Uganda, the loans extended to Ham Enterprises were improper, blank and invalid. 

He also emphasized that by acting as a collecting agent for DTB Kenya, DTB Uganda had violated the Financial Institutions Act and Agent Bank regulations. The banks petitioned the resolution in the Court of Appeal.

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However, on Wednesday, Justices Richard Buteera, Kenneth Kakuru and Christopher Madrama ruled that Justice Adonyo had a mistake in ruling after he condemned the lending agreement and allowed Mr Kiggundu’s firms to recover Shs34b and $23.2m (about Shs84b) from them.

“The judgment of the trial judge is set aside,” Deputy Chief Justice Buteera ruled.

“An order is granted remitting the suit back to the Commercial Division of the High Court to be expeditiously fixed and heard by another judge,”  Justice Butera ruled.

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