By Vision reporter
A sh680m dispute between Roko Construction Company and the proprietor of the Hilton Kampala Hotel, Mohammed Hamid, has gone back to the Court of Appeal for fresh hearing.
The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court and also ordered that new judges handle it. The judges who last handled the case in the Court of Appeal are; Steven Kavuma, Augustine Nshimye and Remmy Kasule.
They had unanimously upheld the arbitral award of sh580m to Roko. Their judgment quashed the Commercial Court ruling, which had overturned the arbitral award.
“With the greatest respect to the Court of Appeal, we hold that it did not follow permissible proper procedures in deciding the appeal. The Court of Appeal did not handle the litigation with fairness and openness. So, we set aside its orders and return the matter for it to constitute a suitable different coram to hear and decide the appeal in accordance with the established procedures,” the court ruled recently.
According to the records, Hamid engaged Roko to construct him a residential house in Kololo in 2005.
Construction was supposed to be completed in a year. Court heard that Hamid defaulted on the payments twice, and as a result, Roko terminated the contract and referred the dispute for arbitration.
Records also indicate that Roko then applied to the Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution, which named retired Supreme Court Justice Alfred Karokora as the arbitrator. Karokora awarded Roko over sh584m for the work it had carried out on the project and sh100m in general damages.
The two sums were to attract an 18% interest per annum until full payment. Hamid appealed to the Commercial Court and the award was cancelled. Roko appealed to the Court of Appeal and won, then Hamid took the case to the Supreme Court.
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Roko Construction case back to the court of appeal