Kampala. The High Court in Kampala on Friday temporarily stopped businessman Hamis Kiggundu, trading under Ham Enterprises U Ltd, from further carrying out any development and construction works on Nakivubo War Memorial land, The Daily Monitor reports.
The interim order issued by Justice Patricia Basaza Wasswa will remain in place for the next 30 days.
The same court ordered both the representatives of Nakivubo War Memorial Trust and Ham Enterprises that are engaged in a space battle for the land surrounding the stadium, to go for arbitration in a bid to settle the conflict out of court under Section 5 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.
According to this Act, once there is a conflict related to an agreement by parties, the court should halt the proceedings and refer the matter for arbitration.
The request to have the parties go for arbitration was raised by Mr Isaac Walukaga, the lawyer for Nakivubo War Memorial Trust when the matter came up for hearing in the course of last week.
“An interim order is issued for 30 days until the next mention restraining the respondent [Ham Enterprises U Ltd] from further dealing with the land comprised on plot 26, a Nakivubo War Memorial Trust property,” the interim order reads in part.
The legal battle between Nakivubo War Memorial and Ham Enterprises Ltd started when the two entities got into a public private partnership agreement under the Public Private Partnership Act.
Ham Enterprises was seeking to develop the parking space around Nakivubo stadium and also improve on the structures surrounding the stadium.
Following the partnership agreement, Ham Enterprises embarked on the construction of Ham shopping arcades surrounding almost the entire Nakivubo stadium.
Despite Ham Enterprises carrying out some developments around the stadium, some space was left and the management of the Nakivubo War Memorial Trust called for suitable bidders to also develop the remaining space.
Two companies successfully won the bids and were set to commence the developments on the land.
However, it’s alleged that Ham Enterprise found itself in need of space for parking and ended up frustrating the two companies that had won the bids from developing the remaining space.
Ham Enterprises obtained an interim order from court stopping the development of the remaining space by the other two companies.
But Nakivubo War Memorial Trust, in its court papers that this newspaper has seen, insists that Ham Enterprises has never been allocated any additional space and that the claim is unfounded.
The management of the stadium contends that Ham Enterprises Ltd was only allocated space for construction of a perimeter wall and construction of lock up shops facing the Park yard and that no further agreements have ever been entered into.
Businessman speaks out
In an interview with this newspaper yesterday, Mr Kiggundu said he would continue with his business because the order was issued in his favour and not that of the stadium management.
“They [court] issued an interim order for me stopping Nakivubo or any other parties. It is me who reported Nakivubo to court, I should continue with my business,” he said.
Presented with the evidence of the court order, Mr Kiggundu maintained that “the order was already given” and that Justice Basaza’s order was a “reference”.
Following a January 12, 2015 meeting between him and Mr Kiggundu, President Museveni in March last year directed the Ministry of Education and Sports to handover Nakivubo stadium to an investor for redevelopment.
In a March 2-letter to then Education minister Jessica Alupo, the President said he was endorsing the redevelopment of the stadium since it was in a sorry state to the extent that “FIFA banned it from hosting international matches”.