22 March 2019

Uganda: Bitature, Consulting Firm Battle in Court

Kampala — Businessman Patrick Bitature has denied breach of contract with consultancy firm FINICON Group that accuses him of failing to pay more than Shs900m for professional architectural and engineering services it offered for his construction projects in 2012.

On December 21, 2018, FINICON Group sued Mr Bitature in the Commercial Division of High Court.

One of the projects in question, according to FINICON Group, was construction of a high-end hotel on Summit View Road on Kololo Hill in Kampala with an investment value of between $5m (about Shs18.5b) and $6m (about Shs22b).

The suit states that on August 24, 2012, Mr Bitature further entered into an agreement with the company to provide similar consultancy services for remodelling a residential house on Malcom X Road in Kololo and a project in Ibanda District which involved construction of a hotel and gardens.

In his defence against the accusations, Mr Bitature asserts that neither of the cited projects proceeded to development level and accordingly no bills of quantities or construction costs were ever ascertained.

"The suit contracts are vague and uncertain and incapable of legal enforcement ... ," Mr Bitature's written statement of defence reads in part.

"The defendant admits the payment of $23,538 (about Shs87m) and shall state that was mutually agreed as full and final settlement to the plaintiff given that the suit projects had not proceeded to development despite the plaintiff's effort," Mr Bitature further states in defence.

He also denied that the company executed its obligations in accordance with the contract specifications and demanded payment for the services provided.

He says during the trial he will prove that the contracts were never fully performed.

He says the alleged outstanding $256,042 (about Shs947m) has no legal basis at all under the respective contract terms and the plaintiff will be put to strict proof thereof.

He asked court to dismiss the case with costs.

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