Re-ergenized by Justice Stephen Mubiru’s reversal of what is believed to be a flawed procedure used by Dfcu and its lawyer, Timothy Kanyerezi Masembe, during the purported auction of the Master Electronics’ multi-million building in the city center, upbeat Counsel Fred Muwema has tabled a protest case seeking to overturn the process.
Muwema appears together with Counsel Roberts Friday Kagoro on behalf of Master Electronics who insist they don’t owe a penny to anyone at all but which was the basis Dfcu itself had used to sell off their building. Reached by this media website for an update in regard to these matters, Muwema confirmed duly filing the protest case with Justice Mubiru. “Yes, it’s true, thank you,” Muwema revealed when contacted about the development.
Masters Electronics’ case got a new lease of life after Justice Stephen Mubiru was informed by Muwema how he (Mubiru) had been misled by Counsel Masembe to sign and sanction a consent judgement. Regretting what he had done, Justice Mubiru reversed what he had done and encouraged Muwema to bring a protest case against all what had transpired.
Having been signed by Justice Mubiru, Dfcu would quickly use the disputed consent judgement to quickly and purportedly sell off the building to the Imperial chain of hotels’ mogul, Karim Hirji. Karim is thought to have purchased the building located just next to his Equatorial Hotel along Bombo Road, but using a proxy identified only as Kirit
The owners of the building had not been invited to the negotiations leading to the consent judgement. But this, despite being one of the parties in the case Dfcu had lodged and was still in court, moreover, to protest the cancellation of the mortgages Bank of Uganda (BoU) had purportedly assigned to them following Crane Bank’s (CB’s) liquidation.
Dfcu went to court after Master Electronics had brought the issue of the invalidity of those mortgages to the land registration commissioner’s attention. The bone of contention was that whereas BoU could have purportedly assigned those mortgages to Dfcu. But that was not nonetheless followed up with the actual registration of the said mortgages in Dfcu’s names.
As a matter of fact, those mortgages have since remained registered in CB’s names and favor. Hence, thereby rendering CB the mortgagee even when it’s public knowledge that BoU itself had rendered CB dead long ago.
The commissioner, while agreeing with the lawyers for Master Electronics, summoned Dfcu to show cause why the mortgages shouldn’t be cancelled out of the Titles belonging to Master Electronics and then surrendered to the company’s owners. Other than doing that, Dfcu instead instructed Masembe to escalate the matter to Justice Mubiru.
As it turns out, Masembe was merely biding time. Seeing how he would shortly thereafter abandon Dfcu’s case in court. Masembe then went on to retrieve an old legal opinion by the Attorney General, purporting how BoU had assigned the mortgages to his clients. That wouldn’t have been a problem, possibly if BoU, of which Masembe, before we can forget, was one of the lead lawyers by the time BoU was selling these mortgages to Dfcu, had cared to transfer and register them to Dfcu.
But in light of all these and, after Masembe had retrieved the Attorney General’s old legal opinion, he now went to the commissioner. Purpose of the visit? To convince the him to change his mind and enter now into a consent judgement, removing the case Dfcu had lodged before Justice Mubiru. In between, Muwema and Kagoro had luckily got wind of what was going on behind doors between Masembe and the commissioner.
The lawyers had then moved faster and filed an application with the trial judge to bring to his attention, what was going on and also to protest what was going on. But as fate would have it, or merely because their application had been sat on and therefore, the Judge hadn’t got an opportunity to look at, Masembe would finally file the disputed consent judgement two hours later at 6pm on April 12 and via the Court’s online system.
That’s what Justice Mubiru would end up getting across and therefore signed it at 4am in the night. And as we have stated before, Masembe and Dfcu would quickly use the consent judgement to purportedly auction Master Electronics’ building.
Queries: Among the queries being raised by Muwema and Company is just how exactly did Dfcu’s Masembe was able to use the mortgages registered in Crane Bank’s names to sell off their clients’ building to third parties. Differently put, how was Dfcu able to sell off the property when it was not the mortgagee.
Supposing Dfcu removed the mortgage before selling the property, how could they have done it without the involvement of the owners of the property since they had not been notified at all, as the law would require? When and where had the notices of sale of the building appeared in the newspapers as the law would require? How was Dfcu able to base the sale of the property on the consent judgement without extracting it first into a court decree, and having it signed first by the court deputy registrar prior to doing so?
- 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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