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Businessman sues KCCA over closure of commercial hall

By Betty Amamukirori

Added 15th September 2018 01:58 PM

Sued alongside the city authority are eight men, alleged to be employees of KCCA.

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Sued alongside the city authority are eight men, alleged to be employees of KCCA.

A Kampala based businessman, Willy Kiwanuka Ssentongo, has sued Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA)  for closing a commercial hall which he was using as his business centre and store.

Sued alongside the city authority are eight men, alleged to be employees of KCCA.

Ssentongo, accuses them of breaking into the commercial hall in the night and taking  a safe box containing US$41,000 (an equivalent of sh156m).

The eight include, Wilberforce Waligo, Micheal Sendi, Shafic Mukembo, Henry Mutiibwa, Peter Kivumbi, Abdallar Kibugo, Joshua Ssekabila and Abdul Matovu. The now closed commercial hall is located at USAFI market in Kampala.

In his plaint, Ssentongo claims he had a number of shops in the hall and was subletting others to tenants who were paying him rent in dollars. He would then keep the money in a safe box within his office located in the same hall.

He says he entered into a sub-lease agreement with Safinet (U) Ltd, the then Usafi market owners, for a rental space at the hall in 2013.

He claims that when KCCA took over ownership of the Usafi Business Park in 2015, he had incurred sh60m in renovation of the hall.

He states that before KCCA took over, he had agreed with Safinet that the renovation expenses would be deducted from the rent he was paying to the body. At that time he was purportedly paying a monthly rental fee of sh2m.

“When the 1st defendant (KCCA) inherited the facility the plaintiff had not completed deduction of the sh60m  incurred in the renovation of the building  but informed the liaison  officer  of the 1st defendant  about the same but paid no heed,” reads the plaint which was filed on September 1, 2018, at the Commercial Court registry.

Ssentongo says he was using the hall as both his office and store before it was raided and closed on the instructions of KCCA to its eight employees.

“To his surprise, around December 13, 2016, the 2nd defendant along with the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th who claimed to be employees of the 1st defendant broke into the plaintiff’s commercial hall at night and took property, money  and a safe box containing US$41,000 and speakers,” he claims, through his lawyers from JN Katerega Advocates.

He claims the same people later came back and took tables, chairs, ironing boards, printers, cleaning machines and slashing boards.

“Of the US$41,000 that was in the safe, US$26,000 belonged to his sister, Jane Nantongo, who had left him with it when she was going abroad. The remaining US$15,000 belonged to the plaintiff, some of which had been collected from rent,” the plaint further reads.

He wants court to direct the defendants to pay him sh300m and the sh156m that was taken from the safe.

He also wants a permanent injunction restraining KCCA and its employees from interfering with the hall.

Festo Nsenga, the court’s deputy registrar, has referred the matter to land division premising the move on the Ssentongo’s demand for KCCA to vacate the hall.

KCCA has also been given 15 days to respond to the claims.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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