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Court orders Dfcu Bank to pay former Crane Bank employee Sh82m as lawyers AF Mpanga, MMAKS are banned

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The Commercial Court has ruled that Dfcu Bank pays Shs62 million to Mr. Shakil Pathan Ismail, a former employee of the defunct Crane Bank Limited (CBL). The ruling delivered by Head of the Commercial Court, Justice David Wangutusi also awarded Mr. Shakil general damages worth Shs20 million.

The special damages come with 21 per cent interest per annum from April 2016 on till payment is made in full. The judge also ordered the bank pays a further 6 per cent interest on damages from the date of judgement till the amount is fully paid.

The judge also ruled that Dfcu Bank meets the costs of the suit that has further tainted the image of the bank in the eyes of the public. The bank continues to be in the news for acquiring CBL and Global Trust Bank controversially. Former workers of CBL are also in the process of demanding compensation from Dfcu Bank for terminating their services in violation of an earlier agreement.

The ruling was delivered in Kampala on January 19, 2019

In 2017, Mr. Shakil sued Dfcu Bank for the recovery of Shs62 million which he said the bank unlawfully blocked/deducted from his salary account. That happened after Dfcu Bank bought off CBL on January 25, 2017.

“It is without doubt that the defendant kept the plaintiff (Shakil) out of use of his money. The bank must have used this money for commercial purposes. It is also without doubt that if the plaintiff had borrowed that money from the bank, he would have paid it back at commercial interest rate. What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander,” Wangutusi said in a written judgement.

DfcuBank used MMAKS Advocates in the said suit praying that court allows it to add on CBL in receivership as the second defendant, but the judge dismissed it, saying MMAKS Advocates had once served CBL and now could not be allowed to turn against the same bank as ruled in; Bank of Uganda Vs Crane Bank Civil Suit No.493 of 2017.

MMAKS is forbidden from representing any entity against Crane Bank, secondly Dfcu as a successor of Crane Bank can suffer all all all the previous liabilities inherited from Crane Bank provided the victims of these liabilities were never privy to the purchase of Crane Bank asserts and liabilities.

“It did not matter whether the firm had many lawyers and the one now assigned with the new matter did not personally handle the complainant’s case. Conflict would still be imputed from the “Canteen factor”, he said.

“Canteen factor is this case included social chat between colleagues or with client that gave vital information so if the interaction is between one of the partners it will be imputed to the others,” he explained.

The judgment was delivered in the presence of Mr. Timothy Lugayizi-Dfcu Bank counsel and Ms Daphne Atuhaire-assistant to Mr. Nelson Walusimbi, Counsel for Mr. Shakil.

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