City businessman Hamis Kiggundu aka Ham, the proprietor of Ham Enterprises, a conglomerate of companies, is likely to have the last laugh in the multibillion case he is battling with Diamond Trust Bank Uganda (DTBU) and Diamond Trust Bank Kenya (DTBK), in which he accuses the Bank of siphoning over Shs120 Billion from his accounts.
Diamond Trust Bank claims that Kiggundu owes them over Shs39.7 Billion which is principle and interest of the loan the Bank extended to him during the 10 years he has been banking with them.
According to documents before the High Court Commercial Division, Kiggundu acquired the money in four disbursements; $6.2 Million, $3.2, $458,604 and UShs2.8 Billion both from DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya between February 2011 and September 2016. The loans were consolidated later in 2018 and were to run for five years ending August 23, 2023.
In a letter dated April 2011 to DTB, Kiggundu acknowledged the debt and promised to pay them by after selling some of his properties. Court Documents filed by DTB indicate that Kiggundu was served with reminders and notices but still failed to meet his obligations.
However, Kiggundu, who had been promptly servicing the loan, was shocked in 2019 to learn that both DTBU and DTBK had unlawfully debited over Shs120 Billion from his accounts during a period of 10 years.
So in January this year Kiggundu dragged Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) to court arguing that the bank had “fraudulently, illegally and irregularly debited huge sums of money,” from his Ham Enterprises accounts amounting to the tune of over Shs120 billion,
However, DTB, which denied the allegations, insisted that all they wanted was to recover monies owed by businessman and his related group of companies.
The bank had moved to fast track the material case which it argued was a question of audit to establish whether the businessman’s accounts were wrongly debited as he claimed.
In a bid to have the material case handled expeditiously and without further delays, DTB waived the 30% advance payment requirement that would have require Kiggundu deposit close to USD11 Million with the courts before the case could commence. That was after Kiggundu’s lawyers successfully argued against the said exploitative regulation in court.
Thereafter Kiggundu insisted that the Bank should conduct a forensic audit of his accounts to determine how and why colossal sums of money had been debited from his accounts without his knowledge or consent.
Ham wrote to the Bank a Termination Letter on November 16th 2019, informing them that after a forensic audit of his accounts he had discovered their fraudulent activities.
In the Termination Letter he wrote to DTB, he tasked the Bank to conduct a comprehensive account audit and account reconciliation and then explain why they had fraudulently debited his accounts.
However, they did not respond to him for two months so on January 10th 2020, he sent a demand notice to DTB for the money they had fraudulently debited from his accounts although to date they have never refunded it.
Sources privy to the matter reveal that although the Bank claims to have lent Kiggundu Shs41 Billion and that he now owes them Shs39.7 Billion, he asserts that he has so far paid the Bank Shs45 Billion both in Principle and Interest on the loan, yet they don’t want to account for the paid money.
Besides that, Kiggundu argues that although the Bank claims he has never repaid the loan he acquired, the same Bank (DTB) has never filed a case for recovery of the money they claim he owes them.
This leaves many unanswered questions as to why they didn’t sue him or Ham Enterprises for defaulting on loan payment, but instead went ahead to fraudulently debit his accounts and later come up with frivolous accusations of defaulting.
In their defence, the Bank instead argued that Kiggundu’s case was a question of auditing that would be quickly handled although to date they have never availed him with the audit report.
When the case came up for hearing on August 27 2020, Kiggundu’s lawyers raised a preliminary matter and filed a separate application to the effect that DTBK was carrying out illegal banking business in Uganda by lending money to Ham Enterprises.
They also stated that DTBU was facilitating and abetting the illegal conduct of Financial Banking Business in Uganda contrary to the Financial Institutions Act, a matter that has never been proved wrong or denied by both DTBU and DTBK, which claimed they were doing syndicate lending.
“Ham Enterprises (U) Limited has never denied ever acquiring loan facilities from Diamond Trust Bank however, our claim is fraud by DTB evident from our Banking statements with the Bank as well as audited books of accounts which clearly indicate these loans were paid off and the Bank unlawfully, excessively, fraudulently debited Shs34,295,951,533 from our shillings accounts and USD23,467,670.61 from our dollar accounts a claim for which we filed a case against the Bank for recovery of the same,” Kiggundu told this website.
He added that “Ham Enterprises (U) Limited on finding out this fraud took the responsibility and wrote to Diamond Trust Bank a letter dated 16th November 2019 issuing a termination notice of all contractual obligations with the Bank informing them of the irregularities, extortionate, unlawful, deceptive, unauthorized transactions and debits on our accounts.
The Bank had equally fraudulently through misrepresentation contracted us into unconscionable terms of contract using their superior bargaining position as a Banker thereby unjustly, jointly and severely enriching themselves. We waited for their response to that regard but received none. The silence meant the Bank was fully aware of all the fraud they had done on our accounts.”
Ham Enterprises Estate Vs DTB Worth
Sources within Ham Enterprises have revealed to this website that although DTB officials claim Kiggundu owes them a lot of money, the actual truth is that Ham Enterprises is way bigger both in liquid cash and assets compared to DTB.
This is because whereas DTBU is valued at Shs1.6 Trillion, of which Shs1.2 is customer’s deposits and Shs400 Billion are their assets, Ham Enterprises is worth over Shs2 Trillion, given the properties and assets owned under the company.
Some of the properties owned under the company include; Ham Agro Processing Industries, Ham Shopping Ground Nakivubo, Ham Real Estates LTD, Ham Palm Villas which are 500 apartments in total, Ham Towers in Wandegeya, Ham Shopping Mall in Ntinda, Ham International Express Logistics Dallas, Ham International LTD California, Ham International UK, buildings in Manchester City, UK, among others.
Facts On Record
According to documents seen by this website, the facts obtained so far indicate that Ham Enterprises (U) Limited has Banked with Diamond Trust Bank for approximately 10 years and the Bank claims to have extended to them a total loan facility of Shs41,000,000,000 out of which it claims there is an outstanding Loan balance of Shs39,700,000,000 owed to the Bank.
However, Ham Enterprises (U) Limited within the 10-year Banking relationship with Diamond Trust Bank on record and company statement has paid total interest of Shs22,005,452,398 and Total Principle of Shs23,529,913,107 making a total Payment of Shs45,535,365,505 monies directly paid to the Bank.
The Bank’s claims of an outstanding Shs39.7 balance therefore implies that that Ham Enterprises has simply been donating or giving charity for the loans to have reduced by only approximately Shs2,000,000,000 out of the Shs45,535,365,505 they have so far paid to the Bank.
They thus wonder, given all the money the have paid to DTB, how a mere Executive Director of Uganda Bankers Association can afford to insult them by labeling the company as “bad borrowers” instead of blacklisting DTB as fraudulent, bad bankers!
This is because their (Ham Enterprises) claim is not only limited to the Shs45,535,365,505 paid to DTB but also a total of Shs120 Billion unlawfully and irregularly debited from their accounts within a period of 10 years.
Watch the Space