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Tycoon Shumuk loses property battle against Katatumba

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City businessman Mukesh Babubhai Shukla aka Shumuk, the proprietor of Shumuk Aluminium Industries Ltd has lost another case in which he accused Singer Angella Katatumba of trespassing on Muyenga based Hotel Diplomat

Angella Katatumba is daughter to deceased Consulate of Pakistan, Boney Mwebesa Katatumba who was in dispute with Mukesh over a loan and prime property.

Nakawa Chief Magistrate before Dr Douglas Singiza thrown out a privately prosecuted case brought by Mukesh citing abuse of court process because its facts are linked to the property disagreement pending in the Court of Appeal.

“Besides raising the jurisdiction error, I consider the complaint before this court, an abuse of court process requiring no further discussion here,” held Dr Singiza.

The Nakawa Court decision to strike out Mukesh case of purported criminal trespass follows dismissal of many other cases.

Since 2014, when the Commercial Court ordered Mukesh to pay more than 11 billion after losing  a property battle against late Dr. Bonney Katatumba’s family, and he is set to pay over Shs10Bn in damages and legal costs incurred.

However, Mr Mukesh have since attempted to evict the Katatumba family from the contested hotel in the upscale area in Makindye Division through numerous court cases.

The cases were filed before determination of Mr Mukesh’s appeal in the Court of Appeal in which he is challenging the November 2014 order of the Commercial Court that stopped him from doing any activity on the hotel or entering it.

Hotel Diplomate is subject of the case where Mr Mukesh through his Springs’International Development Limited, Shumuk Financial Service Limited and Shumuk Springs Development Limited are parties to the dispute.

On March 26 this year, Acting Chief registrar Tom Chemtai ordered Mukesh to desist abusing the court process.

At the meeting at High Court in Kampala between Mr Shukla and Ms Angella Katatumba, the Chief registrar directed that the case in the Court of Appeal be fixed immediately and disposed of since it is the major cause of disputes.

“…there should be one forum to lay or institute cases by any of the parties to the dispute and Angella Katatumba and Shumuk were told to file their cases be it criminal or civil in one court with both geographical and pecuniary jurisdiction,” reads the minute.

Angella Katatumba had made several complaints accusing Mukesh of abusing the courts of law by opening several private criminal cases prompting the Chief registrar to order Mukesh to leave DPP to do its work.

According to the minutes of the meeting, Mukesh instituted a private case at Makindye Chief Magistrates Court and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) took over the matter but again filed same case at Nakawa Chief Magistrates Court, which was outside the jurisdiction of the subject property located in Makindye.

Early this year, the Makindye Magistrates’ Court presided over by Jude Okumu Muwone permitted the DPP to take over a case of alleged criminal trespass, impersonation, forgery and uttering a false document against Angella Katatumba which was filed by Mr Mukesh for private prosecution.

The court also allowed the DPP to withdraw the case and acquitted Angella Katatumba.

In 2017, the Chief Magistrates Court at Makindye dismissed Mr Mukesh’s case to evict the Katatumba family from the Muyenga hotel reasoning that the case was wrongly filed under a wrong procedure and law and this court.

The court condemned Mukesh to pay legal costs incurred by Katatumba’s daughter, Angella saying that the application was wrongly brought to court.

“…the application is incompetent and wrongly filed under a wrong procedure and law and this court. It (application) collapses and the same is hereby struck out in its entirety with costs to the respondent,” the court ruled.

The court ruled reasoned that the pleadings brought by Mr Mukesh did not seem to reflect the existence of a tenant-landlord relationship but rather each party claiming proprietary interest that is legal and beneficial.

Mr Mukesh had petitioned the court arguing that he purchased the hotel and that the late Katatumba had agreed to vacate the premises but later refused to leave.

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