Judicial Service Commission Responds To Businessman Hamis Kiggundu Over Principal Judge Flavian Zeija’s Alleged Judicial Mis-conduct

The Judicial Service Commission (JCC) has acknowledged receipt of a complaint by businessman, Hamis Kiggundu against Principal Judge, Dr.Flavia Zeija over the manner in which he handled the sh120b DTB case.

In November 9 letter, the Judicial Service Commission chairperson, Justice Benjamin Kabiito acknowledged receiving the Kiggundu’s complaint.

“We acknowledge receipt of your complaint against the above mentioned judicial officer. The complaint has been forwarded to the Registrar Planning, Research and Inspectorate, Julius Mwebembezi for evaluation,” a response from the Judicial Service Commission chairperson, Justice Benjamin Kabiito wrote in a November 9, letter to Kiggundu.

Last month, businessman Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises Limited and his lawyers petitioned the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) calling for thorough investigation of Principal Judge, Dr. Flavian Zeija.

Ham wanted the commission to investigate Zeija’s interests in the Ham Vs Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) case after blocking the payment of Shs120 billion to Mr. Kiggundu.

The lawyers said whereas the hearing of the appeal has not taken place, they were later informed the Principal Judge had called for the case file, adding that they have not been served with any official correspondence regarding the matter.

“Whereas the Hon. Principal as the head of the High Court can call for any file in the High Court pursuant to his administrative functions under Article 141 of the Constitution, those powers cannot be understood to extend to the exhibition of continuous interest in one particular file, to the extent of calling of it and interfering with its hearing whenever any proceeding in the case upsets or is likely to upset the defendants,” Muwema said in the letter to Dollo.

The money is arising from a Commercial Court ruling which ordered Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Kenya to refund Shs120 billion debited from Hamis Kigundu’s Bank accounts after declaring that $4,014,444 and $6,974,600 loans extended to him were illegal.

The lawyers say they are concerned over the flippant movement of the case file in a manner which they say appears to hijack the judicial process.

“We question why the Principal Judge who is not an allocate judge sitting in the judgment of our client’s case should take away our client’s file at a time when the defendants are seeking an interim order to stay execution of orders he neither issued nor can stay in law,” Muwema says.

Kiggundu avers that since the principal judge worked with FINCA Uganda and Tropical Bank of Africa, his royalty is inclined toward supporting Banks against clients in Courts of Law taking advantage of his ranking position in the judiciary.

He accused Dr. Zeija of summoning their file when it was before deputy registrar and giving it directions in regard to their application for an injunction against DTB and further summoned her during the handling of miscellaneous application with the knowledge of defendants but without any notification to plaintiffs.

“The actions of Dr. Zeija not only have compromised the independence of the judiciary but have equally seen him betray his oath to uphold justice, promote democratic principles, uphold the rule of law and safeguard the constitution through protection of human rights for all citizens of Uganda,” Ham said.

“We therefore request for your urgent intervention to this regard and in the interim, the principal judge should rescue himself from any legal proceedings in regard to our file, let justice prevail in line with the procedural guidelines of Courts,” he requested.

In February 2011 and August 2018, Kiggundu sought and offered $4,014,444 and $6,974,600 loans by the banks for construction of commercial properties. To secure the loan Kiggundu mortgaged Kyadondo Block 248, Plot 328 land at Kawuku, FRV 1533, Folio 3, Plot 36-38, Victoria Crescent II Kyadondo and LRV 3176 Folio 10, Plot 923, and Block 9 located at Makerere Hill Road. DTB Kenya contacted its counterpart in Uganda to collect a loan facility from the Business man.

In March, Ham dragged both banks to court for siphoning over sh120b from his accounts without his consent. He also wanted the court declare that the banks demand for $4,014,444 and $6,974,600, which was advanced to him by DTB-Kenya, is illegal and unenforceable on the grounds that the Kenyan bank had no license to carry out financial business in Uganda.

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