By Andante Okanya
The Commercial Court in Kampala has dismissed allegations that Soroti Municipality MP, Flight Captain Mike Mukula, breached a contract in a rental agreement he signed with South Sudan aviation firm Nanam Aviation Limited.
In the judgment of Justice Christopher Madrama, delivered on September 13, he ruled that the firm failed to adduce evidence that it incurred losses.
The parties had been locked in an acrimonious six-year legal battle. Mukula was jointly sued with his aviation company, Sun Air (U) Limited.
“The plaintiff (Nanam) did not prove any loss it suffered for which it was entitled to compensation by way of an award of either special or general damages,” Madrama stated.
The firm was seeking $303,437 damages (about sh576m, then), alleging Mukula dishonoured the rental agreement in which he was supposed to provide two air crafts. Nanam claimed he provided one which only operated for 22 days instead of the two months paid for in advance.
Prior, the lease was for two years. Court documents show that sometime in May, 2008, the firm’s officials struck a business deal with Mukula.
In his defence, Mukula launched a counter claim, saying the firm failed to operate the planes on proper, safe and internationally accepted runways.
He stated that on August 8 2008, the firm forced the crew to land the plane in a wet and muddy runway at Boma, South Sudan. He adduced photographs taken by the pilots.
According to court papers, Mukula offered Nanam two other planes but the firm declined, and instead demanded refund of its money.
Nanam explained that one of the planes, was barred from flying more than five hours. It insisted that the agreement was to fly 65 hours per month.
The judge declined to grant Mukula general damages in his counterclaim. He explained that no loss was indicated, as evidenced in the testimonies of his witnesses, who included his former flight operations manager Joram Kakooza.
Each party was ordered to foot its own bill of costs.