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Ham vs DTB, businessman ally’s fears as Supreme Court judge speaks in tongues

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Businessman, Hamis Kiggundi better known as Ham has accused Attorney General Kiryowa Kwanuka and city lawyer Edwin Karugire of intimidating the judges in the ongoing case involving both parties

Supreme Court last week invited both parties for pre-hearing conference but as the two sides convened today for the said conference, of the Supreme Court judges informed that that there would be no pre-hearing conference to schedule the submissions of evidence by both sides as the judgement date had been already fixed for June 13,2023.

The never-ending legal battle between Businessman Hamis Kiggundu aka Ham and Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) has ignited a significant debate surrounding the independence of Uganda’s judiciary and the potential influence of politics in legal proceedings. The case, which centres on DTB’s admission of illegalities committed and documented on court records, has become a litmus test for the country’s legal structures and the judiciary’s ability to uphold the law.

At the heart of the controversy, concern has been raised about the political influence wielded by Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka and his legal partner Mr Edward Karugire of Kiwanuka and Karugire Company Advocates with concerned individuals and legal scholars are questioning whether their positions and connections could potentially protect Diamond Trust Bank from the illegal actions it has admitted to committing.

The bank and its lawyers of K&K Advocates before the Supreme Court in 2021 and admitted failure of the Court of Appeal to address the substantial point of illegality in their submission of November 5,2021.

On November 11, 2021, Ham filed an application stating that DTB had concurred with him that the Court of Appeal (COA) justices; Richard Buteera, Christopher Madrama, and Kenneth Kakuru, did not address the issues of illegality contrary to the provisions of the financial institutions act on which grounds judgment was rightfully entered at the high court.

DTB and its lawyers, K & K advocates, have also admitted to the failure of the Court of Appeal to address the substantial point of illegality in their submissions. Ham Enterprises filed an application highlighting that the Court of Appeal justices did not address the issues of illegality as per the provisions of the Financial Institutions Act. As a result, the case now awaits a judgment on admission, while DTB remains entangled in the admissions it made on court records at both the high court and the Supreme Court.

In a high-profile civil case that has captured the attention of the nation, Ham Enterprises, led by businessman Hamis Kiggundu, took legal action against Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Uganda and Diamond Trust Bank Kenya. The case alleges that the bank deducted over Shs120 billion from Ham Enterprises’ accounts without the knowledge or consent of Mr. Kiggundu. As the Supreme Court prepares to deliver its judgment on June 13, 2023, concerns have been raised about the fairness of the proceedings and the potential influence of powerful interests.

Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Musoke has recently announced that the judgment in the case is ready and scheduled to be read on June 13, 2023. However, the court rejected the request for a pre-hearing, a decision that has been met with frustration and allegations of unfairness by Hamis Kiggundu and his lawyer, Fred Muwema. They argue that this decision hinders their ability to present crucial evidence and makes them question the integrity of the court proceedings.

Hamis Kiggundu and his legal team have expressed concerns about what they perceive as unfair treatment and favoritism toward DTB and its foreign representatives. This alleged conflict of interest raises suspicions that the law firm’s influence extends beyond the courtroom, potentially compromising the impartiality of the proceedings.

According to Kiggundu and Muwema, the actions of the court suggest the existence of an invisible hand manipulating the legal process, with connections reaching higher than the court itself. This claim implies that influential forces may be working behind the scenes to protect DTB and its representatives. Such allegations highlight the need for transparency, accountability, and an independent judiciary to ensure justice is served.

The Ham Enterprises vs. Diamond Trust Bank case has far-reaching implications beyond the parties involved. It raises questions about the integrity of the financial sector, the vulnerability of businesses to fraudulent practices, and the effectiveness of the justice system in safeguarding the rights of individuals and entities. The outcome of this case will undoubtedly shape public confidence in the judiciary and the banking industry.

As the Supreme Court prepares to deliver its judgment in the case between Ham Enterprises and Diamond Trust Bank, concerns about fairness and potential manipulation persist. Ham and his legal team, led by Muwema, have criticized the court’s decision to reject a pre-hearing and raised suspicions of an invisible hand within a law firm associated with powerful individuals. The outcome of this case will have significant implications for the pursuit of justice, the banking sector, and the public’s trust in the legal system. It is crucial that transparency and fairness prevail to ensure a just resolution for all parties involved.

This website failed to obtain a comment from AG Kiryowa as he made his phone busy and didn’t reply our messages. However, a source close to him told us that immediately he was appointed AG, he relinquished his interests in the law firm.

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