The High Court in Kampala has directed a contractor to pay shs250 million in compensation to a judge for doing shoddy work on her house.
In 2020, Justice Lydia Mugambe dragged James Kayita and his company, Hallmark Construction and Painting Company Limited to court for doing shoddy works on his ten apartment block located in Ntebetebe Katuba Cell in Bweyogere in Kira Municipality, Wakiso district.
In her suit, the judge said both parties had entered into an agreement for doing finishing work on her apartments but this was done poorly despite paying the contractor.
In the judgment delivered on Monday, High Court judge, Musa Ssekaana said that whereas there was a contract on what was expected of the contractor, he went ahead and did shoddy works which indicated he was negligent.
“As per my preceding findings, I found that there was evidence showing cracked wall plaster, plaster peeling off the walls, cracked ceiling plaster, cracked ceiling cornices, defective door frames, and unlevelled floor tiles or cracked/ damaged floor tiles among others. This is also evidence of negligently performing the construction works which can be faulted on the defendants jointly and severally. This court would not encourage ‘reckless and hazardous’ as well as economically inefficient behavior on the part of the defendants (contractor) as this would appear to condone unskilled personnel in the construction industry which may lead to loss of life and property in future due to collapsing buildings in Uganda,”Ssekaana said.
High Court noted that all evidence indicates that Justice Mugambe suffered financial losses when the contractor failed to honour the contract but did shoddy works which would required that the work be redone or repeated and this would take more time causing delay on the side of the lady justice.
“I find that these actions were of great inconvenience to the plaintiff and caused the plaintiff suffer damage financially and to her person. I, therefore, find the award of shs225 million as fairly adequate sufficient general damages to put the plaintiff in the position she would have been had the contract performed in accordance with the contract.”
The court also directed the contractor to pay special damages to a tune of shs27 million to Justice Mugambe and 15% on this amount from the date of filing and 20% awarded on general damages from the date of judgment.