By Stephen Kasozi Muwambi
The lawsuit leaks three years after the Uganda all-star home team hosted the legendary Catalans in an electrifying game played out at the Nelson Mandela stadium.
Rally ace Andrew Kananura aka Desh is the litigant behind the case. His lawyers are Nangumya and company advocates. The Naguru based Panamera bar owner tells of how he supplied MTN with a total of 833 tickets, which he claims; the telecom operator has never paid for.
MTN gave out the tickets to its lucky subscribers who turned out at the match held on December 12, 2015. Cranes were the proud winners of the charity soccer-piece courtesy of goals scored by Tonny Mawejje, Steven Bengo, Geoffrey Serunkuma (brace) and Mike Sserumaga. Barcelona responded with three goals via Patrick Kluivert, Julio Salinas and Mendieta that proved inadequate to overturn the home boys’ triumph.
According to case documents before Justice David Wangutusi who is the boss of the commercial section of the high court, Desh supplied the tickets in question on December 12, 2013. We saw a letter of the same date acknowledging receipt of the tickets in question. It bears the names and signature of one Mapule Bodibe. She writes as the chief marketing officer of the telecom operator. It quotes the cost of the tickets to be Ugshs25m. Bodibe in the same letter commits MTN to pay the money in one lump sum by December 15, 2015 beyond which the debt would carry a weekly interest of 10 percent.
Stating how MTN has never paid him a penny out of the agreed Ugshs25m, Desh now claims that the sums has since shoot up to more than Ugshs500m factoring in the interest quoted above. He asks court to compel MTN pay the money due with agreed interest as well as costs of the suit
The telecom operator concedes the fact that Desh supplied the tickets he is talking about. But the firm hastens to argue how he used a company that was not registered to do this business. Desh supplied the tickets through a firm known as Stallion Group of companies. MTN argues accordingly that it cannot be responsible for delaying to pay the money since they could not pay to a firm that wasn’t registered.
While MTN concedes the fact that Desh finally registered Stallion by February 4, 2016, MTN lawyers of Shonubi, Musoke and company advocates, argue further that Desh sent in his invoice for payment six days later.
Much as Desh duly submitted the company’s supplier details in pursuit of payment, MTN counters that the business man accompanied them with a TIN number for a separate company known as Byona Travel limited.
To cut the long story short, MTN says it wrote to Desh on March 7, 2016 offering to pay him a total of Ugshs35m, but that the businessman never responded to the offer, but chose to file what the telecom operator dismisses as a “vexatious and frivolous case” against it.
That said and done, MTN has up to December 4 to try and work out a settlement with Desh, according to a directive issued out by Justice Wangutusi when the matter came up on yesterday ( November 20).
MTN’s lawyer, Bart Sebuliba agreed to talk peace with those representing Desh in a bid to find an amicable settlement to the dispute.
- Mr. Stephen Kasozi Muwambi is a seasoned crime investigative writer, majoring in judicial-based stories. His two decades’ experience as a senior investigative journalist has made him one of the best to reckon on in Uganda. He can also be reached via [email protected]
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