The Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala has dismissed an application that had been filed by tycoon Patrick Bitature, Carol Bitature, Simba properties Co Ltd, Simba Telecom, Linda Properties and Elgon Terrace against Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership, as well as its lawyers and representatives.
Bitature, his companies and lawyers were seeking a temporary injunction against Vantage Mezzanine Fund II commencement of any private prosecution and or legal action until a pending suit of contempt of court has been disposed of.
But in his ruling dated May 24, Justice Stephen Mubiru of the Commercial Division of the High Court in Kampala has ruled that Bitature’s application lacked a legal basis.
“In conclusion, the applicants seek the interlocutory injunction so as to protect themselves against injury by violation of their rights for which I have already found they could be adequately compensated for in damages if the uncertainty were resolved in their favour at the trial,” ruled Mubiru.
“The applicants’ need for such protection must be weighed against the corresponding need of the respondents to be protected against injury resulting from being prevented from exercising their own legal rights for which it may not be adequately compensated in damages if the uncertainty were resolved in its favour at the trial. Having done so, I find that the balance of convenience is in favour of the respondents.
He also ordered Fred Muwema, Bitature’s lawyer, to pay costs of the application, saying Counsel failed to professionally advise the businessman and his companies.
“This application catastrophically lacks a legal basis. The legal costs and time wasted in this litigation could have been avoided entirely if the applicants’ advocates had discharged their duties to the expected minimum standards of professional competence. It qualifies as a ‘rare and exceptional’ case where it would not be fair for the applicants to bear the costs,” directed Justice Mubiru.
“The costs must be met by the applicants’ advocates in person. Consequently, the application is hereby dismissed. The costs of this application will be met personally by counsel on record for the applicants.”