Businessman Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises has won the first round of a case against Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) over mortgage payment and recovery of illegally debited billions of money.
It all started when DTB moved to auction Kiggundu’s properties over an uncleared loan worth about Shs40bn.
In response, Ham Enterprises conducted an audit on all its accounts in Diamond Trust Bank, and unearthed fraud, with almost Shs34bn reportedly siphoned from its Uganda Shillings account, and about $23.5m (about Shs86bn) knocked off its United States dollar account.
Ham enterprises quickly moved to notify DTB of the fraud unearthed in their letter dated November 16, 2019. Kiggundu also ordered company lawyers and accountants to terminate all contractual relations with the bank.
Receiving no response to this letter, Ham Enterprises wrote a second notice telling the bank to refund the Shs120bn illegally debited from the company’s accounts.
With DTB remaining adamant, Kiggundu ordered his lawyers to run to court for redress.
Two months later, on January 17, 2020, Ham Enterprises filed suit number H.C.C.S No. 43/2020 in the commercial division of the High Court in Kampala.
The company asked court to order DTB to refund all the money illegally hewed off its accounts, and to issue another directive blocking the bank from demanding money from the mortgage, since the Ham Enterprises audit indicated it had been debited.
But, in its January 23 defense, DTB fought back demanding that Ham Enterprises first deposit 30 per cent of the mortgage amount and other monies involved in the suit, according to Regulation 13 of the Mortgage Act.
In response, Ham asked court to reject DTB’s request, arguing that requiring him to deposit the 30 per cent was inconsistent with article 28 of the Constitution on fair hearing.
Almost seven months later, on August 03, DTB agreed with Ham Enterprises Uganda Limited’s insistence that the 30 per cent rule be vacated.
Kiggundu has now gone ahead to challenge Regulation 13 of the Mortgage Act in the Constitutional Court, seeking for the declaration of the same as null and void because of its inconsistency with provisions of fair hearing.
Court will now determine matters regarding the DTB mortgage and the Shs120bn fraud as alleged by Ham Enterprises.