KAMPALA. The Supreme Court has upheld an appellant court decision that ordered AYA Group chief executive Mohammed Hamid to pay Roko Construction company Shs700 million.
Almost eight years ago the Court of Appeal reinstated an order instructing Hamid to pay Shs584,430,571 with interest of 18% per annum and, general damages of Shs100 million with interest of 18% per annum .
The order was issued on November 4, 2009, by the court Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution.
It all started when Hamid entered a construction contract with Roko Construction Ltd to construct him a house on Plot 43 B Windsor Close, Kololo in Kampala worth Shs1.1 billion.
Hamid made a down payment and Roko went to work. Whereas both parties signed the bills of quantities, the respondent signed the Articles of the Agreement and passed them on to Hamid to sign but he did not return a signed copy to Roko Construction Ltd, according to the affidavit.
Roko did substantial construction work but Hamid failed to pay for all the work done, forcing the construction firm to serve notices under the provisions of the contract to suspend construction.
Roko also issued a notice of termination of contract and appealed to the President of East African Institute of Architects to appoint the arbitrator.
The Centre for Arbitration and Dispute Resolution (CEDAR) appointed Justice Alfred Karokora, who heard both parties, and delivered the award on June 30, 2009, in the presence of both parties and their counsel Godfrey Lule and Peter Allan Musoke for the defendant, and Enos Tumusiime for Mark Koehler, the managing director of Roko Construction Ltd.
However, Hamid ran to the Supreme Court to contest the decision, arguing that appellant judges had erred in law since he had not signed the agreement and that the matter had been overtaken by events.
But the Supreme Court has returned a ruling that it is clear that of the five grounds raised by the appellant, four failed.
“In the result, I would uphold the decision of the Court of Appeal and dismiss the appeal with costs to the respondent,” reads a ruling by Justice Faith Mwondah.