A business dispute between tycoon Hamis Kiggundu and Diamond Trust Bank is threatening to spiral out of control in spite of the matter being before a court of law.
In January this year , Ham Enterprises owned by businessman Hamis Kiggundu took Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) to court arguing that the bank had “fraudulently, illegally and irregularly debited huge sums of money,” from its account. It sought to recover Ugx.100 billion
The origin of trouble
Ham and DTB have had long-term business relationship. No wonder the bank has branches in most of Ham Enterprises buildings In Kampala. The businessman has also over the years used this relationship to expand his business enterprises.
According to court documents, Kiggundu and his related enterprises received a credit facility totaling over Ugx 41b. which he has reportedly failed to pay. The information indicates that he owes the bank about Ugx39 billion.
Further informations shows that between February 2011 and September 2016, Kiggundu was granted various credit facilities by the said bank.
Through Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and later sh2.5b from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.
He also obtained another facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.
As of January 21, 2020, The author of the book, Success and Failure based on Reason and Reality , was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.
They further claim that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.
The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.
The city tycoon responded by writing to Diamond Trust Bank, alleging financial fraud.
When he failed to pay, the Bank commenced a recovery process together with the customer who made proposals on how to settle the accounts which the parties agreed upon.
Ham enterprises ltd filed a suit In court against the Bank with ‘‘the untrue claim that the Bank ever disbursed loans to them among other entities’’ according to DTB
Kiggundu argues that when the bank granted him credit, it either did not disburse some of the agreed sums or purported to disburse the monies, but in turn, “unlawfully debited and/or appropriated the same without his knowledge and consent”.
The Bank has since filed a defense in turn and ‘‘we shall present the evidence court at the appropriate time’’ the Bank said in statement
Who is paying to damage Bank’s image?
However, as all this happens, there is a consistent and what many describe as paid for campaign on radio and online by one of the parties to discredit and depict the other as a ‘fraud’
Those in the know claim that typical of court cases, one of the parties seeks to employ legal technicalities to delay the case.