23 December 2012

Uganda: Alaka, Kyerere Fight Over Bukenya's Millions

The city law firm Alaka & Company Advocates is locked in a fight with Kwari-Kyerere law firm over millions of shillings in electoral petition costs imposed on former Vice President Prof Gilbert Bukenya.

The political rival to Busiro North MP Gilbert Bukenya, Hussein Kasta, last year won a petition against Bukenya and court awarded Kasta Shs 107m as costs for him and his lawyers Caleb Alaka, Julius Galisonga and Samuel Muyizzi, all from Alaka & Company Advocates.

After the Alaka firm received Shs 70m in two installments, Kasta dropped the Alakas and hired former Uganda Law Society President Bruce Kyerere, who allegedly assisted him to get Shs 15m, leaving a balance of Shs 22.4m. Kyerere subsequently lodged an application to court, seeking to commit Prof Bukenya for failing to pay Kasta's remaining balance.

When the application came for hearing on Friday, Prof Bukenya's lawyer, Wandera Ogalo, told High Court Registrar Isaac Muwata that his client wanted court to assist him identify which law firm to pay because both Alaka and Kyerere were demanding payment. Galisonga, who was in court, tried to address court but Kyerere told him he had no right because his firm had since been dropped from representing Kasta.

After a lengthy adjournment, which nearly degenerated into a quarrel, Muwata ordered Ogalo to deposit the money to court pending a ruling from Civil Court Registrar John Kaitirima. Ogalo, who had brought two blank cheques of Barclays and Stanbic banks, filled in the amounts and deposited them to court.

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