• Mon. Oct 2nd, 2023

UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Ugandan businessman Hamis Kiggundu finds himself at a crossroads as he requests the Constitutional Court to reverse the Supreme Court’s ruling that ordered a retrial of Civil Suit No. 43 of 2020.

The initial case, which Kiggundu had lodged against Diamond Trust Bank Uganda (DTB-U) and Diamond Trust Bank Kenya (DTB-K), accused the banks of unfair contractual terms and illegal deductions from his accounts.

Although a retrial would have offered him a chance to substantiate his claims and potentially recover substantial sums, Kiggundu now aims to challenge the Supreme Court’s ruling on the legality of syndicated lending contracts.

This decision has raised questions about the businessman’s motives and legal strategy.

Ham Kiggundu and his companies, Ham Enterprises Ltd and Kiggs International (U) Ltd borrowed money from DTB-U and DTB-K but faced difficulties in repaying the loans in full.

In response, Kiggundu filed Civil Suit No. 43 of 2020 in the High Court, alleging unfair contractual terms and illegal deductions from his accounts.

He also requested a full account reconciliation of all financial transactions between the parties. DTB-U and DTB-K denied the allegations and asserted that Kiggundu owed them USD 4,014,444 and USD 6,974,600, respectively.

As the case progressed, Kiggundu amended his claim, contending that the loan agreements were illegal and unenforceable, citing various reasons, including the lack of a license for DTB-K to lend in Uganda.

He sought UGX 34,295,951,553 and USD 23,467,670.61, claiming that these amounts were unlawfully deducted from his accounts.

On October 7, 2020, the High Court ruled in favour of Kiggundu, declaring the loans illegal and unenforceable and ordering their release.

Unsatisfied with the High Court’s ruling, DTB-U and DTB-K appealed to the Court of Appeal, which set aside the High Court’s orders and sent the case back for retrial.

Kiggundu then appealed to the Supreme Court, which delivered a judgment dismissing his appeal and upholding the legality of syndicated lending contracts.

Now, Kiggundu has lodged a Constitutional Petition No. 18 of 2023, challenging the Supreme Court’s ruling. He accuses the court of failing to hear two related applications (Civil Application No. 051/2021 and Civil Application No. 015/2023) before delivering its judgment, alleging an infringement of his constitutional right to a fair hearing.

Furthermore, Kiggundu questions the Supreme Court’s pronouncement on the legality of syndicated lending, arguing that it infringes upon Parliament’s legislative power regarding illicit money transactions.

He seeks to have the Supreme Court’s judgment expunged from the public records of Uganda and the entire case retried.

Legal experts and analysts have differing opinions on Kiggundu’s actions. Some view it as an attempt to buy more time and organise his finances, while others believe he aims to pay off other banks first, ensuring liquidity to address DTB-U and DTB-K’s claims.

Kiggundu owes money to other financial institutions, including Absa Bank Uganda and Orient Bank (now I&M Bank Uganda), alongside his debts to DTB-U and DTB-K.


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