Abe Kalpana: Investor fails to pay Shs70m rent

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Abe Kalpana: Investor fails to pay Shs70m rent
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A gripping legal battle is set to unfold in the High Court after Japanese investor Abe Kalpana was sued over failure to pay residential rent.

Ms Magret Kumba Nakau says Kalpana failed to pay rent amounting to $19,200 (Shs70 million).

The landlady has asked the court to compel Ms Kalpana to pay up and also vacate her premises.

"Ms Nakau's claim against Ms Kalpana is for recovery of $19,200 being rental arrears, repossession of rental premises on her land on Plot 1026 Block 257 at Gaava Road in Munyonyo," the lawyers for the landlady, Align Associated and Advocates said in the affidavit.

She is also seeking an order for recovery of special damages, general damages, interest on the rent arrears until payment in full and costs of the suit.

The affidavit says the two parties entered into an agreement on August 1, 2023, with Ms Kalpana signing to pay rent annually in advance of $28,800.

The property in a upscale suburb of Munyonyo was going for $2,400 per month.

Ms Nakau says she issued an invoice for the payment of the agreed rent but Ms Kalpana ignored it.

"Shs has not paid the said rent since August 1, 2023 to-date which conduct amounts to a violation of her obligation to pay rent as agreed yet the plaintiff has to make some payments like property taxes in respect of the same premises to relevant authorities which are still in arrears," the affidavit reads.

Ms Nakau claims that the alleged breach of tenancy agreement has caused her to suffer economic loss since she was getting money from her property to earn a living and cater for other responsibilities in life.

However, Ms Kalpana had previously written to Ms Nakau "raising vexious and frivolous claims" on the plaintiff's property.

Among others, Ms Kalpana claimed that the house was inhabitable due to damages but the landlady's lawyers rubbished the claims, saying she was still living in the same house.

Through her lawyers, Ahamya Associates & Advocates, she said she had a mutual agreement with the previous landlord, Mr Samuel Lotigo, to make the necessary repairs on the house and that what she spent would be deducted from the subsequent rental payment arrears.

"Our client went ahead and at her cost incurred expenses on repairs on the said property amounting to Shs40 million which was and is still due and owing to our client by Mr Samuel Lotigo," wrote Sam Ahamya, managing partner for Ahamya Associates & Advocates.

"We are alive to change ownership and with that goes the said liability that Mr Lotigo owed to our client which has never been taken by Ms Nakau."

He said Ms Kalpana was willing and able to make the said rental payment but needs accountability and assurance that the money claimed has been offset from the current rent and then agree on the payment outstanding.

The case, registered as Civil Suit No. HCT-00-CV-CS-0102-2024, has caught the attention of many, promising to reveal intriguing details about the allegations and defenses involved.

In January, the High Court in Kampala issued a summons to Kalpana to file her defence or face a default judgment.

The hearing date is yet to be set.

Who is Abe Kalpana?

Abe Kalpana is presented as a multifaceted individual with an impressive portfolio.

She was until 2019 the vice president at a local paint company where she at the forefront of business operations and product launches, including the highly publicised anti-mosquito paint aimed at combating malaria in African communities.

Ms Kalpana's influence extends beyond Uganda. She is married to Isao Abe, a cousin of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

This connection has allowed her to play a significant role in fostering international partnerships, particularly between India, Japan, and Africa.

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