Kampala City lawyers, Fred Muwema and Kagoro Friday of Muwema & Co. Advocates have been dragged to the Commercial Court for allegedly failing to pay rent worth $148,000.
According to court documents, Downtown Investments Limited, a company is alleging that the amount in question is owed by the Kampala-based law firm and its partners Fred Muwema and Kagoro Friday Roberts having accrued as unpaid rent for the period commencing from December 15, 2021 up to date.
Downtown Investments Ltd has filed Civil Suit No. 0621 of 2023 against the law firm for recovery of the rental arrears. The case is pending hearing and determination before Justice Harriet Magala of the Commercial Court.
On July 12, 2023, Downtown Investments Ltd terminated the tenancy agreement with Muwema and gave the law firm 30 days to vacate the premises. Despite the expiration of the notice on August 12, 2023 the law firm has refused to peacefully vacate the premises.
According to documents filed in court, Downtown Investments Ltd insisted that Muwema & Co. Advocates defaulted in making timely payments of the monthly rent and by May 30, 2023 the rent had accumulated to $182,400.
However, Fred Muwema’s lawyers pleaded with Downtown Investments Ltd after receiving a demand notice for $182,400 and they made a partial payment of $50,000 of the outstanding rental arrears and the amount due and owing was reduced to $148,300 at the time of filing the court case.
Downtown Investments Ltd however, wants the Court to hold the Muwema & Co. Advocates liable for rent arrears in the amount of $148,300 (One Hundred Forty-Eight Thousand Three Hundred United States Dollars), representing the period commencing December 15, 2021.
The Tenancy Agreement attached to the court documents shows that the agreed monthly rent was $5,500 in 2014 but subject to 18% VAT and a 10% annual increment after the first 24 months. It is these sums that are said to have accumulated to the $148,000 now being claimed.
Downtown Investments Limited has now formally lodged a complaint of criminal trespass against Fred Muwema and Kagoro Friday Roberts and has also sought the intervention of police to have the law firm evicted.