By Vision Reporter
THE Uganda Integrated Fish Suppliers Association has taken the East African Development Bank (EADB) and the Uganda Marine Products, a fish processing and exporting firm, to the Commercial Court over non-payment.
Through Luswata-Kibanda and Company Advocates, five members of the association are demanding sh737m plus costs and a 4% Barclays Bank base interest rate.
On October 18, the accounting firm, Mungereza & Kariisa, was appointed receivers and managers of Uganda Marine Products after it failed to pay a $945,000 (about sh1.6b) EADB loan.
The sh737m claim is part of the sh985m worth of fish the over 12 members of the association supplied to the firm.
The suit states that the Uganda Marine Products acquired a loan from EADB totaling sh1.6b for operations.
According to the agreement, EADB was supposed to pay fish suppliers through direct remittances of the money to their accounts. But this was not effected.
Ponsiano Lwakataka, the chairman of the Uganda Integrated Fish Suppliers Association, said the money accumulated from the supply of 220 metric tones of fish for a period of four months.
â€œSince the company went into receivership, we have tried amicable means to solve the matter but in vain. Neither the receiver nor EADB have helped us. Itâ€™s why we are taking legal action to recover our money. Some of us had put our assets in banks to get money for the business and all these are in danger unless we are cleared,â€ Lwakataka said.
Lwakataka said the company owes him alone sh159m.
Other big claimants include Allan Mayombwe (sh167m) and Juliet Katsimba (sh73m).
According to Duncan Ssassirah, one of the lawyers of the suppliers, Uganda Marine Products is worth only sh4.6b today from the value of sh6.2b in assets in 2005. To him, this was enough to cater for the financial needs of their clients if the ruling was done in their favour.
â€œWe are representing these suppliers to ensure that they recover their money and be happy like any businessman with clear economic objectives,â€ said Ssassirah in Kampala.