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Shs 39bn Case: Lt Gen Angina Denies Fighting DTB; Tycoon Ham Accused of Using ‘Delaying Tactics’

Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) Deputy Coordinator, Lt Gen Charles Angina, has dismissed claims of working with businessman Hammis Kiggundu alias Ham to bring down Diamond Trust Bank (DTB).

“This development between the bank (DTB) and Ham, I don’t know about it,” said Angina in an interview with ChimpReports on Thursday evening.

“I don’t want to be dragged in it,” he emphasised.

His remarks comes against the backdrop of media reports that he was among the people filing suits against DTB to cause its downfall,

“I want to categorically state that we have no claim or dispute with DTB Bank. Our relationship with the bank has been professional and cordial,” he said, adding, “Anyone circulating this false information will be held responsible.”

DTB has lately been in the news over its battle with flashy businessman Hammis Kiggundu over Sh 39.7bn which the businessman acquired to facilitate his business and reportedly defaulted on payment.

Lt Gen Angina says he has nothing to do with the case between Ham and DTB

What really happened?

HAM Enterprises, the Plaintiffs filed a case in the Commercial Court HCCS No.43 of 2020 in January 2020 against DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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The Defendants (DTB) filed a Written Statement of Defence (WSD) and contended that they were proceeding with the foreclosure process to recover the outstanding sum due as provided for under the law (Mortgage Act and Regulations), mortgage deeds and other credit facility documents executed by the parties.

HAM had acquired the money in four tranches: $6.2m, $3.2m, $458,604 and sh2.8b from both DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya between February 2011 and September 2016.

The loans were consolidated later in 2018 and were to run for five years, ending August 23, 2023.

In a letter dated April 11, 2019 to DTB, Kiggundu admitted the debts and promised to repay them by selling off his complexes at Makerere.

The Bank, in its WSD challenged Ham’s petition, saying it was a “ploy to delay the recovery of the outstanding loan amounts and /or the realization of security and prayed for dismissal of the suit with costs.”

HAM filed an application for a Temporary Injunction vide HCMA No. 34 of 2020 arising out of H.C.C.S NO 43 of 2020 seeking to maintain the status quo and restrain DTB, their agents, representatives, assignees, employees, servants, and or any other persons acting on their behalf, who may derive or claim an interest through the Respondents (DTB), from advertising for sale, selling, placing under receivership, tampering with, disposing off, auctioning, taking possession of, or taking any steps and or carrying out any actions in any manner which are able to or are likely to alienate and or interfere with the Plaintiffs’ interest in the land and properties comprised in Kyadondo Block 248 Plot 328 land at Kawuku, FRV 1533 Folio 3 Plot 26 – 38 Victoria Crescent II Kyadondo and LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9 land at Makerere Hill Road until determination of the main suit.

DTB opposed the application, saying it did not “meet the conditions for the grant of a temporary injunction” and in the alternative prayed that, “should the court be inclined to grant the injunction, then it should be conditioned upon depositing 30 percent of the outstanding sum as provided for under Regulation 13 of the Mortgage Regulations.”

30% WAR

On 19 February, 2020 the Deputy Registrar delivered a ruling in the application for the Temporary injunction, granting the injunction with a condition that the Plaintiffs deposit 30 percent of the outstanding loan within five months from the date of the ruling (19 July 2020).

On 30 March 2020, Ham Enterprises Appealed part of the Registrar’s decision (to grant an injunction with a condition to deposit 30% of the outstanding loan) and DTB responded to their appeal.

The Judge then directed the parties to file written submissions which was done and a ruling was to be delivered on Notice.

File saga

On 6 July 2020, DTB raised a complaint to the Deputy Registrar, Commercial Division to establish the circumstances under which the file was taken by the clerk to one of the judges without an allocation.

The parties were summoned by court to appear before the Hon. Trial judge on 9 July 2020 which they did and upon appearance before the trial judge, on his own motion, he decided to recuse himself from the matter and sent matter back for re-allocation before another judge.

The Judge, however, extended the time within which to deposit the 30 percent to 2 August, 2020.

On 23 July, 2020 Ham Enterprises filed  Constitutional Petition No.11 of 2020 Ham Enterprises Ltd & Others Vs AG, DTBU & DTBK challenging the constitutionality of the requirement to deposit 30 percent of the outstanding sum and the Regulation 13(1), (4) and (5) of the Mortgage Regulations, the recusal of Hon Justice Duncan Gaswagga  from the main suit among others including an order that the Constitutional court directs the High court to hear the matter in accordance with its guidance ( after determining the Petition).

On 3 August, 2020, DTB filed an answer to the Petition and contended that the Petition is an “abuse of court process as it raises no matters for constitutional interpretation and is intended to delay the hearing and determination of the main suit.”

On 29 July, 2020, the Plaintiffs filed HCMA No.461 of 2020 for review of the recusal order of the judge.

On the same day, the Plaintiffs (Ham) again filed HCMA No. 530 of 2020 for unconditional leave to amend the Plaint in HCCS No. 43 of 2020.

On the same day, Ham in addition filed HCMA No.531 of 2020 for extension of time within which they are required to deposit 30 percent of the outstanding sum as ordered until the final determination of the Application for review, the Appeal and the Constitutional Petition No.11 of 2020.

On 30 July 2020, Ham again filed HCMA No.532 of 2020 for a certificate of urgency and obtained an interim restraint order extending time until 3 August 2020 when HCMA No.531 of 2020 comes up for hearing.

Lawyers said all the above Miscellaneous Applications are “interlocutory to the main suit and have the capacity of springing up and being escalated up to the highest appellate court before the hearing and determination of the main suit.”

DTB lawyers argued that with all the above miscellaneous applications, “the Plaintiffs did not intend to have the main suit heard and determined.”

Based on this and the fact that the bank wanted the main suit heard which is why HAM sued the bank, on 3 August 2020 in HCMA No. 531 of 2020 a concession was made by the Bank to maintain the status quo and to forego all the Miscellaneous Applications springing from the Plaintiffs’ challenge of the condition to deposit 30 percent of the outstanding sum in favour of an expeditious hearing and determination of the main suit (HCCS No. 43 of 2020).

The court by consent order vacated the requirement to deposit 30 percent and directed the plaintiffs to file an amended Plaint by 10 August 2020, the Defendants to file WSD to the amended Plaint by 17 August 2020 and reply by 24 August 2020.

The Parties were directed to file their respective trial bundles by 26 August 2020 and Joint Scheduling Memorandum and the suit was fixed for scheduling inter-parties on 27 August 2020 at 11.00am.  The expeditious hearing and determination of the dispute shall present the Bank an opportunity to dispel the Plaintiffs’ baseless allegations through an audit or reconciliation of accounts.

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