Uganda: Ham Asks Court to Halt Audit of Dtb Loan Deal

21 September 2020

By Betty Ndagire

Ham Enterprise has asked the court to halt the auditing process pending the determination of another application in which it is seeking to strike out defence statements filed by Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Limited.

On August 31, Justice Henry Peter Adonyo of the Commercial Court directed the Institution of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda to appoint an independent auditor to carry out account reconciliation of the financial transactions which are based on the credit facilities between Ham Enterprises and DTB.

The order came after the court allowed the hearing of the multi-million dispute involving businessman, Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises and DTB to proceed.

However, Ham Enterprises Limited contends that it has since filed an application seeking to throw out DTB's written statements of defence for being founded on credit facilities which are illegal.

According to the complaint, the court directed the two worrying parties to file written submissions and reserved the ruling date for October 5 this year.

"That at the same time, however, an audit exercise determines the said impugned credit facilities has been commenced at the instance of the respondent's pursuant to a court order issued on August 31," reads the complaint, adding that the audit exercise is subordinate to the outcome of the application that is pending ruling.

Through his lawyers of Muwema & Advocates, Ham Enterprises alleges that the said challenged credit facilities are in contradiction and negation of court's investigation into the legality of the credit facilities and thereby violates his right to a fair hearing.

The application arose out of a case in which Mr Kiggundu alongside his companies; Ham Enterprises and Kiggs International Uganda Limited sued DTB Uganda Limited and DTB Kenya Limited of among others alleged breach of contract following a multibillion loan dispute.

He claims that between February 2011 and September 2016 his aforementioned two companies sought various commercial construction, development and completion of commercial properties.

As security, Ham Enterprises went on to provide several properties at Kyaddondo, Kawuku, Victoria Crescent 11, Kyadondo and Makerere Hill Road.

Ham Enterprises is now seeking recovery of Shs34b and $23m from the bank which the businessman claims was irregularly deducted from his accounts.

On the contrary, the banks only admit that the businessman and his two companies hold accounts with them and that the same on various dates took various credit facilities.

Through their lawyer, Mr Kiryowa Kilabika, the banks further list the credit facilities taken by Ham Enterprises $6,663,453, Shs1.5bn, Shs1bn, $4m and $500,000.

"The defendants (bank)in further response contends that the terms of credit facilities were freely and voluntarily executed by the plaintiffs (Ham Enterprises) who certified that it received independent legal advice on the same and were not unreasonable, unfair or unjust as alleged," the banks contend.

Meanwhile, the court is yet to set the hearing date for the application.

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