Court orders Ham case re-trial

By Sania Babirye

The Court of appeal has stayed an order by Commercial Court Judge Henry Peter Adonyo that had ordered Diamond Trust Bank Kenya and Uganda to refund all the money that was unlawfully taken from Hamis Kigundu's accounts amounting to 34 billion shillings and 23 million dollars.

Three court of appeal justices led by Justice Kenneth Kakuru has now ordered that the said case be sent back to the Commercial Court for trial.

These ruled that the lower trial judge did not hear the said case based on its merit since Diamond Trust Bank had filled written defense claiming that the judge did not properly evaluate evidence before awarding Kigundu the said money.

On the 7th of October 2020, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo agreed with Ham's prayers and dismissed the written statements of DTB Kenya and Uganda.

Court also declared that all loans where settled and that DTB bank must return all Kigundu's land titles and all contracts involving DTB Kenya and Uganda and pay interest of 8% and costs for this suit.

Ham had filed an application seeking to dismiss the defense of Diamond Trust Bank in the said multi billion loan dispute.

The bank in its defense stated that Kiggundu through his companies obtained loan facilities totaling to over 41 billion shillings between February 2011 and September 2016 and that up to date, Kigundo owed the Bank about 39 billion shillings in debt.

However through his lawyer Fred Muwema, Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises Ltd filed the application seeking court to dismiss Diamond Trust Bank defense saying it is based on illegal dealings of loan offers.

In January 2020, Kiggundu and his companies, Ham Enterprises and Kiggs International U Ltd, sued Diamond Trust Bank U Ltd and Diamond Trust Bank (K) Ltd of among others for allegedly breaching their contract.

Kigundu claims that between February, 2011 and September, 2016, his two companies, sought various loans from the banks for commercial construction, development and completion of commercial properties.

He further claims that as they were servicing the said loan, they realized that the banks had illegal withdrawn money from their accounts without their knowledge or consent.