THE High Court’s Commercial Division yesterday gave seven days to the Executive Chairman of IPP Media, Mr Reginald Mengi, to show cause why he should not be dragged to prison for non-satisfaction of a decree for 598,750 US dollars (about 1.2bn/-) payments.
Judge Amir Mruma ordered that Dr Mengi, instead of being arrested and brought to court to give such reasons, would be required to provide his account on the matter in writing through an affidavit to be filed by advocate Deogratius Ringia, who had been appearing in court on his behalf.
The filing of the affidavit in question was within seven days effective from yesterday. The judge directed advocate Mafuru Mafuru, for businessmen Muganyizi Lutagwaba, Eric Mshauri and Charles Mgweo, who are beneficiaries of the decree, to file his response also within seven days after receiving such affidavit.
Judge Mruma said that the matter would come in October 12, for necessary orders. The court’s decision comes after the parties in the last court session held on August 24, this year, locked horns on whether Dr Mengi should be arrested after he had failed to appear in person as earlier required in a summon.
The court had summoned Dr Mengi, requiring him to show cause why he should not be taken to prison as civil prisoner in execution of the decree originating from a dispute relating to purchase of shares, which was resolved against him and K.M. Prospecting Limited.
However, advocate Ringia informed the court that his client had not managed to attend the session in person because he was sick and had been advised to have a rest. He also asked the court to grant him two weeks to file an affidavit to explain circumstances as to why such decree had not been satisfied.
However, Mr Mafuru had vehemently opposed to the requests by his co-advocate, submitting that no evidence had been produced in court to show that Dr Mengi was indeed sick.
He requested the court to order his arrest under convenient speed as per Order 21 Rule 35 (2) of the Civil Procedure Code. “The second judgment debtor (Mengi) has failed to enter appearance despite being serviced.
In absence of any medical proof, he should be arrested wherever he is and brought before this court under all convenient speed,” the advocate submitted. He also countered the proposal of giving reasons for not satisfaction of the decree by filing an affidavit.
The advocate told the court that such procedure was not known in civil jurisprudence. He said that the matter do not relate to prove of facts but personally appearance for judgment debtor to show cause.
The three businessmen, the decree holders, filed an application for execution of the decree dated January 28, 2016, in commercial case heard by Judge Agathon Nchimbi.
The company involved in sale of shares is Douglas Lake Minerals Ltd, whose name has been changed to Handeni Gold Inc. In their joint affidavit to support the application, the three decree holders stated that they filed a suit against the judgment debtors, claiming for payments of an outstanding amount in the sum of USD 428,750, US dollar 100,000 and US dollar 70,000, respectively.
They stated that after evidence were tendered at trial by parties, on January 28, this year; the court delivered its decision in their favour for realization of the whole amounts claimed with costs. As up to date, they claimed, no appeal has been preferred by the judgment debtors jointly and severally.
“Though (Mengi) is known to be a reputable businessman with adequate liquid cash and various assets, bank accounts, movable and immovable properties, incorporeal ones inclusive, all efforts employed by (them) to get properties if any registered in his name or ownership has hit a hard brick wall,” they stated.
The three decree holders further stated in their affidavit that though K.M. Prospecting Limited is a company, limited by liability all traces of its properties such as bank accounts, movable and immovable ones, also has hit a snag.
For that matter, they stated in the affidavit, that all efforts employed by them for attachment of the judgment debtors’ properties and for satisfaction of the decreral amount have proved impossible.
Therefore, they stated, the discharge of the burden as to why Dr Mengi should not be committed as civil prisoner lies to him to exhibit properties if any in satisfaction of the amount and to the extent further of showing cause as to why he should not be committed as a civil prisoner.
“It is therefore just and necessary that this court to be pleased for the second judgment debtor to show cause as to why he should not be detained and committed as a civil prisoner for non satisfaction of the decree passed by the court against him,” reads part of the affidavit.
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