Lawyers for troubled businessman Hamis Kiggundu, owner of Ham Enterprises Limited and Kiggs International Uganda Limited, led by Fred Muwema, have announced that they intend to appeal the Supreme Court’s decision in the infamous Shs120 billion Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) case.
Kiggundu’s appeal contesting the legitimacy of the $10 million loan he obtained from DTB Kenya was dismissed with costs by five justices of the supreme court, including Chief Justice Alfonse Chigamony Owiny Dollo, Stephen Musota, Mike John Chibita, Night Tuhaise, and Faith Mwondah.
The learned justices ruled that the loan in question was legitimately secured and ordered a new trial in the Kiggundu family’s main case at the Commercial Division of the High Court.
Since the issue of the loan’s legality was resolved in their judgment, the justices also advised the Commercial Division to base its decisions on the facts.
Muwema and his friends insist that they will appeal the decision even though it was made by the nation’s highest court.
In a statement released in response to the issue, Muwema said, “We cannot simply lament the passing of this Supreme Court decision; we shall challenge it.”.
The Supreme Court’s judgment, he argued, is risky, but it won’t have a significant impact on Uganda‘s efforts to effectively regulate commercial banking or the practice of law. No respectable bank, he continued, would be inspired to participate in illicit money transfers or publicly admit doing so in light of the aforementioned judgment.
Muwema continued, “No serious court, including the Supreme Court, can permit it to continue disobeying its procedural rules and guiding legal principles, and any court that chooses to do so will no longer be recognized as a court of law.”.
He bragged that no respectable lawyer in Uganda would ever jeopardize their client’s case by carelessly disobeying the court’s rules of procedure and the applicable law of Uganda.
As was previously reported on this website, Kiggundu has given his attorneys instructions to file a petition with the Constitutional Court and the East African Courts of Justice contesting the aforementioned judgment.
He maintains that his right to a fair hearing has been violated.
This time, Kiggundu will square off against Kiryowa Kiwanuka, the Attorney General, whom he has accused of abusing his position to sway the DTB decision by intimidating Supreme Court justices.
The DTB bank is expected to join the case as an interested party, represented by Kiwanuka’s law firm KandK Advocates, and Kiggundu will once more square off against Edwin Karugire, whom he also accused of being the president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s son-in-law.
Karugire was charged with using his position to sway the outcome of his case by Kigundu.
Another party in the lawsuit, the Bank of Uganda, which Muwema accused of abdicating its statutory duty by claiming that it does not regulate lending obtained from foreign banks because they do not accept public deposits in Uganda, is also likely to be represented by the Attorney General and has the right to hire other private law firms.
Maintaining monetary stability is one of the Bank of Uganda’s primary responsibilities, according to Muwema, so people are perplexed as to how the bank is able to do so while refusing to track external cash inflows from foreign sources.
Muwema claims that the Bank of Uganda collaborated with the Supreme Court to steer them in the wrong direction after it failed to ensure the country’s monetary and fiscal policy was prudent.
He accused the Bank of Uganda of working so hard to constantly come up with ways to ensure that some players in the banking industry operate against the law as the industry’s regulator.
In addition, Muwema asserted that the country is currently attempting to remove itself from the Financial Action Task Force’s gray list, which is a list of nations with notably lax anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing enforcement regimes. The judgment of the Supreme Court, he continued, is promoting the shadow banking system at a time when the nation is attempting to do so.
He continued by saying that foreign money lenders who are not deposit-taking banks in Uganda can use the Supreme Court decision to cross the border and conduct business without having to apply for a license under the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act 2016 in order to do so.
When Kiggundu requested an audit meeting to share his audit report on his bank account with the DTB bank after accusing them of unauthorized money withdrawals from his bank accounts, Muwema accused the bank of stirring up trouble and refusing to meet with him.
He claimed that after the bank refused to hold an audit sharing meeting where he learned that more than Sh120 billion had been unlawfully taken from his bank accounts, the bank instead began taking enforcement actions to recoup its $10 million facility. This compelled Kiggundu to file a petition with the Commercial Division of the High Court, where he was successful, but it was overturned at the court of appeal and at the supreme court because the courts failed to establish the fact of the ma.
The bank is attempting to pursue their case as the Supreme Court has instructed by fighting to obtain a hearing notice at the Commercial Division of the High Court.
Additionally, attorneys are adding up the 50% of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals costs that were given to them.