Socialite Don Zella ordered to pay shs20m in case where she sued Speke Apartments

The High Court in Kampala has ordered socialite Sheila Nadege also known as Don Zella to pay shs20 million as security in a case in which she sued Speke Apartments in Kampala.

Don Zella sued Speke Apartments found at Wampewo Avenue in Kampala for allegedly conniving with one Shanitah Male and an alleged burglar Jeremy Adome to stage a purported burglary on her apartment in 2020.

She in an incident that happened on December, 25, 2020, at around 4pm, thieves broke into her apartment while she was away and stole her property and blamed management of Speke Apartments for tampering with the crime scene before the police which ensured that catching of the intruder was difficult.

The socialite demanded shs456, 250,000 in special damages and losses as well as general and punitive damages.

However, in an application before the High Court, Speke Apartments through their lawyers told court that the suit filed by the socialite is frivolous, misconceived and vexatious and is likely to flop.

The lawyers said that Speke Apartments management is  being put to unnecessary costs and expenses defending a bad and frivolous suit by the socialite.

The apartment lawyers told court that Don Zella has no known source of income and neither does she have any known abode or property in Uganda that can be attached upon failure to pay costs.

They asked court to issue an order that Don Zella deposits with court any form of security that can be attached in case she loses the case she filed against Speke Apartments.

In his ruled, Justice Musa Ssekaana reasoned with Speke Apartments that whereas it is a fundamental principle that a person who asserts a claim should have access to justice, there are particular circumstances in which he should be required to provide security because of the risk that the defendant may not otherwise recover his/her costs.

“In the case before this court, the applicant(Speke Apartments) claims that the respondent(Don Zella) has no known source of income and that with the knowledge of her previous frivolous actions, it is only prudent that to have the latter pay security for costs for this matter which will ably be returned to the respondent in the unlikely event of success of the main suit. This claim has not been refuted by the respondent,” Justice Ssekaana ruled.

“An order of security for costs protects the defendant in some cases where, in the event of success, the defendant may have difficulty in realizing costs from the plaintiff. The mode of security should be of a type, and its amount should be sufficient, to protect the defendant’s position as to costs and yet not to stifle the plaintiff’s claim.”

The judge therefore ordered Don Zella to furnish court with a security of shs20 million as costs incurred and likely to be incurred by Speke Apartments in the case.

Justice Ssekaana ordered the socialite to deposit the money within a period of three months from now.

“Alternatively, the respondent/plaintiff(Don Zella) may provide a bank guarantee or a bond within one month.”

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