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Traders withdraw case against their landlords

The lord mayor Elias Lukwago who happens to be Qualicel traders’ lawyer addressing journalists after the hearing of the trader’s case on Wednesday. (PML Daily PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Justice Andrew Bashaijja has, for the second time, ordered Qualicel, Nabukeera and Jamboree traders to pay costs to their landlords after they (traders) decided to withdraw the case against the two before the High Court – Civil Division.

The group dragged their landlords Mr. Drake Lubega and Mr. Mansur Matovu to court seeking orders to deposit their rent in court until issues of who should manage the three buildings is settled.

The traders claim they have taken a decision to withdraw their case and take it to the Land Division of the High Court because of mysteries surrounding the allocation of their case file to Justice Bashaijja for hearing.

The traders, through their lawyer Elias Lukwago, contend that their case had been originally allocated to Justice Musa Sekaana who even fixed it for hearing on Monday, April 8, 2019, but they were shocked how the case file moved to Justice Bashaijja.

However, the judge had earlier explained to the traders how the file got to his chambers.

“This file was first allocated to Justice Sekaana but he is out of the country and due to its urgency the registrar asked me to handle it although I was going to start my leave,” Justice Bashaijja explained.

It’s against this background that Mr. Lukwago decided to withdraw the case before Justice Bashaijja and take it to Justice Rugardya Nkonge who will hear it on April 16 next week.

However, Justice Bashaijja ordered that the traders pay costs to Mr. Lubega and Mr. Matovu because the case had been partly heard.

“In compliance to the letter dated April 11, 2019, and in compliance with order 25 sub-rule 1, the withdraw was supposed to be done with leave of court because it had partly been heard. Withdraw shall be granted by leave of court and shall be done with costs,” the judge ruled.

Justice Bashaijja had also on Tuesday this week ordered the traders to pay costs to the two after he dismissed their application to appeal on his ruling before the Court of Appeal.

The traders are asking court to allow them open an independent account on which to deposit rent fees until management issues of the 3 city arcades: Qualicel, Nabukeera and Jomboree are sorted out amongst the three claimants: Lubega, Matovu and Horizon Coaches. 1

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