HAM VS DTB: Relief for DTB as Controversial UGX 120Bn case is sent back to high court

Wednesday May 05 2021
Ham Kiggundu

City businessman Hamis Kiggundu.

By Christina Nabatanzi

Court of Appeal has ruled that a Kampala businessman, Hamis Kiggundu (Ham) was wrongly awarded the UGX 120 billion compensation by the Commercial court last year.

In a unanimous decision of justices Kenneth Kakuru, Christopher Madrama and the DCJ Richard Buteera, the case file involving Hamis Kiggundu and Diamond Trust Bank has been sent back to the Commercial Court for a retrial after establishing that the Highcourt judge Henery Peter Adonyo did not address himself on the merits of the case before deciding it on a point of law.

The judges have faulted justice Adonyo for applying a principle in matters where a defendant refused to file a defence.

However, in this case, Diamond Trust Bank had already filed its defence which the judge chose to ignore hence wrongly announcing the compensation award to Ham.

The court of Appeal has now ordered that the case is retried on all issues and a judgement is entered on merit as Ham has been condemned to pay the costs of the appeal.

The above orders are rising from an filed by Diamond Trust Bank contesting an order by the commercial court to pay Kiggundu UGX 120 billion after the Commercial court found out that its partner Diamond Trust Bank Kenya, from whom Kiggundu borrowed the money, had no operating licence to carry out business in Uganda.


The decision was based on a suit filed by Kiggundu, through his companies; Ham Enterprises and Kiggs International, against DTB Bank. He accused the banks of illegally taking out more than UGX 120 billion from his bank account in Uganda.

Kiggundu stated that between 2011 and 2016 his companies were given loans totalling UGX 41 billion by both DTB Uganda and Kenya and he deposited with them several properties as security.

However, Kiggundu said that as his companies were repaying the loans, he realized UGX 34 billion was illegally removed from his shillings account and USD 23 million from the dollar account.

In the aftermath, Commercial Court Judge Adonyo agreed with Kiggundu and ruled that the credit facilities offered by DTB-Kenya to Kiggundu were illegal since the bank is not licensed to carry out the financial institution business in Uganda.

Adonyo also ordered the banks to return the properties that Kiggundu had mortgaged citing that the evidence on record indicates that all the loans obtained were fully settled. He also ordered the refund of the monies the banks had deducted illegally from his accounts.

However, Kigundu and his lawyer Fred Muwema are to appeal the retrial order.