Court orders for freezing of Isimba dam contractor accounts over shs200bn suit

Kenneth Kazibwe

The High Court civil division Assistant Registrar Flavia Nabakooza has issued an interim order freezing the accounts for China International Water and Electric Corporation, the contractor for Isimba dam in Kayunga district over a shs200 billion suit.

Nine locals from Kayunga recently sued government and the contractor seeking for shs200 billion compensation for forcefully taking over their land to pay way for the construction of Isimba dam without being compensated.

The group including Disson Nsubuga, Berenado Ssajjabi, John Apoogo, Okuni Owori, Adiliano Okuni, Ali Kagoda, Celina Etapu and Rose Achieng early this month asked the court to issue and interim order forcing the Attorney General and the Isimba contractor to pay a sum equal to the amount in the suit or any other security which is equivalent to the amount to show they would attend court until the case is disposed of.

The assistant registrar has subsequently issued the interim order in regards to the matter.

“It is hereby ordered that a short term interim order is issued to preserve the status quo, barring the withdrawal and or transferring of funds in the second respondent’s account numbers kept in Stanbic bank in the name of China International Water and Electric Corporation for two weeks to enable their counsel file the necessary replies,” says the order dated May 17, 2018.

The application is set to be heard on June 1, 2018

The case

In their suit through lawyers from Galisonga & Co. Advocates, the nine locals say it was not improper for government to compulsorily acquire their land measuring approximately 27.852 acres located at Nakatooke village, Nazigo Sub County, Kayunga District, without making a prior prompt, fair and adequate compensation to them.

They accuse government of using force to enter onto their land and started blasting and excavating rocks for use in the construction of Isimba hydropower dam without prior compensation to them.

“As a result of the above, the Government of Uganda engaged an expert, Kagga & Partners, to carry out an evaluation and assessment of the above land, as part of the Resettlement Action Plan, for purposes of compensating us as land owners and made an assessment of the land but the said compensation was inadequate as the value of the rock was not taken into consideration,” reads in part an affidavit sworn in by Disson Nsubuga, one of the owners of the land in question.

“Through the gross undervaluation and subsequent payment of our individual and collective land interest, government effectively compulsorily acquired our individual and collective interests in the land in issue without our consent and without making adequate compensation to us.”

They further allege that the Energy ministry through M/S Kagga and Partners took and retained their purchase agreements and proof of ownership agreements.

In the suit, they want court to declare the actions of government illegal and to compensate them with shs202, 924,298,000.

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