Close to 300 traders on contested arcades of Qualicell, Nabukeera and Jamboree have run to the court as affected third parties demanding a special account on which they can deposit rent peacefully until all disputes surrounding ownership is concluded.
The group also wants the question of ownership fully resolved and compensation for the damages caused to their businesses during the course of contestation on who owns the buildings.
In a suit against two of the contested owners; Drake Lubega and Mansur Matovu, these say they want a special account on which to deposit their rent pending conclusion of the contestations to avoid multiple demands of payment.
Lawyer Erias Lukwago, who is representing the group says the traders who are now his clients are very willing to pay their rent but under clear avenues and without multiple demands arising from the contested ownership.
The group says their businesses are heavily being affected by the endless wrangles between businessmen Drake Lubega, Mansur Matovu aka Younga and Horizon Coaches Ltd belonging to recently deceased car rally driver Charles Muhangi.
They argue that though a court decision accorded ownership of the buildings to the Muhangi, Drake Lubega later returned controversially demanding rent and deploying stick wielding men who threaten them.
According to the plaint the group wants; “a declaration that the defendants actions of closing of the plaintiff’s shops, disconnection of electricity and other utilities and menacing demanding rent from the plaintiffs in respect of Qualicell Business Terminal Arcade, Nabukeera Plaza and Jamboore Arcade situated on land comprised in LRV 3958 Folio 10pplots 50-52 Nakivubo road-Kampala (the suit premises) are unlawful, illegal and amount to trespass, economic and business interference.”
To this effect the traders want compensation for all the business loses they have made during the alleged disruption in addition to costs for the suit.
The traders say that following a November 5th/2018 supreme court order that placed the management of the 3 buildings under the Horizon Coaches Ltd, the buildings were renovated and renamed Horizon city and Bazanya Nengo respectively and each tenant was tasked to pay a 1.2 million shillings registration fee which was disrupted by Drake Lubega later on as he demanded payment.
The suit that was received by the registry will be allocated unto a judge that will preside over it.