The civil division of the High Court in Kampala has awarded DMW Uganda Limited, a company owned by Pastor Daniel Walugembe shs182 billion in compensation for damages after being stopped from mining sand in Lwera.
DMW Uganda Limited petitioned the High Court in 2019 challenging a directive by Parliament banning sand mining in Lwera
The Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources had issued the ban following complaints that several companies were engaged in illegal sand mining and export especially by the foreign companies including Chinese.
Parliament later directed NEMA to also cancel all licenses for companies that didn’t have the body’s approval on environmental impact assessment and those that had been doing activities contrary to what they had been licensed to do.
Consequently, DMW had its licenses for sand mining and fish farming on 69 and 50 hectares of land at Kakwanzi Village, Kitti Parish, Bukamba Sub-county in Kalungu District cancelled leading to the 2019 suit.
In his judgment, Justice Andrew Bashaija ruled that parliament erroneously halted the mining activities without any justification.
“From the provisions revocation of a permit issued to any person vests in the Executive Director (ED) of the 2nd defendant(NEMA) after consultation with the lead agency, if he or she is satisfied that there has been noncompliance with the conditions of the grant of the permit by the grantee,” the judge ruled.
“From the above well corroborated and uncontroverted evidence of the plaintiff, it is quite clear that the 2nd defendant(NEMA) erroneously and in breach of the plaintiff’s permit rights, halted the plaintiff’s sand mining activities with or under the directives of the Committee of Parliament on Natural resources without any justification at all.”
The judge explained in his judgment that evidence tabled before him indicates that DMW complied with all condition of the permit but the project was unlawfully and unjustifiably halted.
According to Justice Bashaija, evidence also indicated that DMW had contracted other companies to supply them sand and that as a result of cancelling their permit, they lost business and earnings.
“To the above latter effect, where there is breach of contract, the party who suffers the breach is entitled to compensation from the party who is in breach. Under Section61 (3) (supra) where an obligation similar to that created by contract is incurred and is not discharged, any person injured by the failure to discharge it is entitled to receive the same compensation from the party in default,” he ruled.
Consequently, the head of the civil division of the High Court ordered government to compensate the company belonging to the pastor to a tune of shs182 billion.
The judge awarded the company shs1 billion in general damages and shs3 billion as special damages.
“Therefore, the total compensation awarded to the plaintiff is shs178,000,000,000 (One hundred seventy-eight billion) for loss of business and earnings, which shall be paid by the defendants jointly and severally,” the judge ruled.