Opinion: The investigator has discovered in the course of their investigations that there is a clear, well calculated and organized crime syndicate of banks, real estate business tycoons, lands registry officials and the police that is shielded and abetted by Judicial officers who also benefit from the same, yet they are supposed to be at the vanguard of exercising equal justice hinged on the oath they took.
These actions and or inactions have over time avoided scrutiny because the errant perpetrators who are veiled with protection from line institutions like the Inspector of Courts among others who, most times give them a casual caution and in the process not only tarnishes the image of the Judiciary and other institutions but that of the Government itself.
We only bring to the attention of the public these syndicates so that attendant action can be taken by the relevant authorities. We are directed by the 1995 Constitution via objective No 29 (a) of the National Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy, to be patriotic, loyal to Uganda and to promote its well-being.
And as such it is our duty to bring incidents of corruption, abuse of office, fraud and racketeering connivance by public officers to the attention of the public where, there is apparent complacency on the part of those vested with the duty to administer Justice.
As you (our readers) are very much aware, our current interest is in the Civil Suits at the Commercial Division of the High Court where, Simbamannyo Estates Ltd is tasseling it out with Equity Bank Uganda Limited, Meera Investments Limited and others.
Our relentless investigations have unveiled a well calculated syndicate to dispossess Simbamannyo of all its assets with the collusion of some Judicial Offices. That this scheme has been veiled in a legal mask to avoid scrutiny or insulate the perpetrators from investigation.
When Simbamannyo sued Equity bank for false accounting, breach of fiduciary duty and engaging in illegal lending via HCCS No 198/ 2020, before it could be heard Equity bank advertised the Simbamannyo properties for sale for alleged loan default in utter disregard of the Presidential directive to Banks not to foreclose on loans during this COVID Pandemic.
Nevertheless, Simbamannyo quickly run to court and applied for a Temporary Injunction to restrain the bank from selling its properties. In addition, Simbamannyo applied for an interim order before the deputy registrar, HW Susan Kanyange to stay the sale until the temporary injunction before the judge had been disposed of.
However, to the bewilderment of the applicant Simbamannyo, the learned deputy registrar denied the interim application unless Simbamannyo paid promptly 30% of the disputed amount, a feat she well knew was next to impossible.
Experts familiar with these matters opine that the deputy registrar should not have issued a conditional interim order especially when the main application for a temporary injunction was already before the judge who is her superior. However, be that as it may, Simbamannyo Ltd appealed against the payment of the said 30% to Justice Boniface Wamala before whom the substantive application for temporary injunction lay.
To the surprise of Simbamannyo and those in court, Justice Wamala ruled that Simbamannyo should pay the 30% within thirty days and that the given period would not be extended under any circumstances. He further ruled that he would dispose of the applicant’s appeal of whether he should pay 30% or not within 45 days. Another bizarre ruling indeed.
Simbamannyo filed an appeal against this ruling but was denied the same by the Judge and as expected, the properties were subsequently sold. Simbamannyo did not sit idly by. They immediately filed another Civil Suit (No 837 of 2020), challenging the sale, citing fraudulent and several other irregularities.
Simbamannyo also filed a mandatory injunction vide M/A No. 992 of 2020, seeking the temporary return of its properties until the suit challenging the sale had been disposed of. The ruling on the said mandatory injunction M/A No. 992 of 2020 arising out of Civil Suit No 837 of 2020, came up on 16th Dec 2020.
The Deputy Registrar, Lilian Bucyana had two interesting rulings with one favoring the applicant Simbamannyo and the other favoring the respondent, tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia’s Meera Investments. She approached first the applicant Simbamannyo with the favorable ruling to pay a certain sum of money which was far too high and hence declined. The ruling was postponed for a week before she returned with a favorable ruling a week later on 22nd December 2020, to maintain the status quo.
The Applicant Simbamannyo intended to appeal the said order but could not extract it because the said Deputy Registrar is reported to have sat on it. It was not until after two months that she begrudgingly signed the order on 10th February 2021 after the applicants incessantly probed her intentions.
This was done with the brief connivance and possible collusion of the said tycoon who, thereafter applied on 12th February 2021 for the Suit to abate on a time-based technicality, as the registrar’s deliberate and mischievous actions of refusing to endorse the order had locked the applicant Simbamannyo from timely applications and filings.
When on 12th February 2021, Meera Investments extracted an order for abatement of the Suit, the order was hastily signed by Lillian Bucyana on the 15th February 2021, to fast track the malfeasance without calling the parties together, to find out exactly what was going on and alter the status quo of the registration of the suit premises so as to frustrate the Plaintiff’s Claims.
Again, when Simbamannyo appealed this abatement, they met another road block in the names of Lady Justice Susan Abinyo who dismissed the appeal on a technicality without bothering to inquire into the merits of the abatement and awarded the respondents substantial costs to boot. It is clear that this well calculated and organized crime is shielded by judicial officers who are supposed to be at the vanguard of exercising Equal justice hinged on the oath they took.
It was also revealed that a Supreme Court clerk one Ronald Luwangula is the one who bought one of the suit properties. Amazing! These syndicates should be investigated by the relevant authorities that have the mandate to do so and investigate this matter to its conclusion in order to bring the culprits to book.
Opined By Ben Mugisha
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