The Principal Judge, Flavian Zeijja has issued an injunction halting the execution of the orders of the Commercial Court in which Diamond Trust Bank was instructed to refund shs120 billion to Ham Enterprises.
Last week, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo of the Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala declared illegal, the loan that businessman Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises had acquired from Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) and directed that the bank refunds the shs120 billion allegedly deducted from Ham Enterprises’ bank accounts.
However, according to an interim order released on Tuesday, since the case is coming up for appeal hearing, there ought to be a halt in executing the earlier orders until the appeal is disposed of.
“It is hereby ordered that an interim order for stay of execution of the decree in the High Court Civil Suit number 43/2020 doth issue pending the determination of the main application for stay of execution,” the interim order reads in part.
Ham’s lawyers complain
However, in another twist, businessman, Hamis Kiggundu’s lawyers led by Fred Muwema have complained to the Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny Dollo over the manner in which the case file has been handled by the Principal Judge.
The lawyers said whereas the hearing of the appeal has not taken place, they were later informed the Principal Judge had called for the case file, adding that they have not been served with any official correspondence regarding the matter.
“Whereas the Hon. Principal as the head of the High Court can call for any file in the High Court pursuant to his administrative functions under Article 141 of the Constitution, those powers cannot be understood to extend to the exhibition of continuous interest in one particular file, to the extent of calling of it and interfering with its hearing whenever any proceeding in the case upsets or is likely to upset the defendants,” Muwema said in the Tuesday letter to Dollo.
Hamis Kiggundu’s lawyers say the Principal Judge has on several occasions called for the case file under unclear circumstances; a matter they say has not augured well with their client.
The lawyers say they are concerned over the flippant movement of the case file in a manner which they say appears to hijack the judicial process.
“We question why the Principal Judge who is not an allocate judge sitting in the judgment of our client’s case should take away our client’s file at a time when the defendants are seeking an interim order to stay execution of orders he neither issued nor can stay in law,” Muwema says.
“It is for the above reasons that we seek and request for your urgent intervention as head of the judiciary in Uganda to issue such orders and directions necessary for the proper and efficient management of our clients case as you may please.”