Justice Ssekaana Musa of the High Court (Civil Division) issued an order striking out the pleadings and/or dismissing the consolidated suits in HCCS No. 66/2017, HCCS No. 678/2017, HCCS No. 330/2013, HCCS No. 351/2018, and HCCS No. 134/2017 against city tycoon Hamis Kiggundu alias Ham and the board of trustees Nakivubo stadium.
Ham, together with the board of trustees Nakivubo filed an application against Katende Steven & 2 others, Mukwaya Jimmy & 245 others, Lugya Moses & 85 others, Kabeera Ezra & 4 others, Kakande Bernard, Mbidde Ahmed & 7 others seeking declarations and orders striking out pleadings and dismissing consolidated suits against them.
The board of Nakivubo says that the land was gazetted to be used in the development of sports and other related activities. However, in the years past, it was subject to land heavy encroachment by all sorts of people, engaging in several kinds of personal activities contrary to the user purpose contained in the Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium Trust Act Cap. 47.
The board adds that in a bid to revamp the Stadium and redeem it from encroachers, they executed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mr. Ham to redevelop it. He was consequently granted leases on the land for the construction of lock-up shops and the re-development of the Stadium is currently at an advanced stage.
This website learnt that Katende Steven, Kakande Bernard, and Mbidde Ahmed jointly with others instituted the suits challenging the validity of the leases.
On the other hand, Mukwaya Jimmy, Lugya Moses, and Kabeera Ezra jointly with others, also filed cases claiming as former market vendors who were displaced or evicted from the said land, allegedly without prior notice. In the suits, they claim that they were entitled to be re-allocated and also claim compensatory damages for merchandises lost.
Accordingly, the suits were consolidated by Court on 18th December, 2018, following an order of Her Lordship Hon. Justice Lydia Mugambe Ssali, the trial Judge at the time, for appropriate management and determination.
However, Ham and Nakivubo board would challenge the competence of the suits in the Civil Division saying that pleadings and claims were founded on illegalities, fail to raise any reasonable cause of action but also that are devoid of merit and are incompetent before the court.
They also sought a declaration issues that the respondents do not have legal capacity and or locus stand to sue them on the claims set out in their Plaints.
They also asked the court to bar respondents in law for being res judicata and that are incompetent and/or premature for failure to adhere to remedies under the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act, 2003.
After hearing all the parties, Justice Ssekaana agreed with Ham and Nakivubo board’s submission that the claims of the existence of a market without a Market License presuppose that there were illegal and unlicensed activities on the suit land, which cannot form the basis of a valid and tenable cause of action.
“A party cannot derive locus to institute an action, from engaging in a prohibited activity, restricted under the law,” he said.
Justice Ssekaana ordered that the respondents’ pleadings and claims are founded on illegalities, fail to raise any reasonable cause of action, and are devoid of merit and are incompetent before this court. He also ordered that the respondents’ suits and claims are barred in law for being res judicata.
Court also issued an order striking out the pleadings and/or dismissing the consolidated suits in HCCS No. 66/2017, HCCS No. 678/2017, HCCS No. 330/2013, HCCS No. 351/2018, and HCCS No. 134/2017 and also ordered costs to the applicants.
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