FULL STATEMENT: This press conference is in relation to the conflict of interest and deliberate move by court to ignore the glaring illegalities in the case of Ham contrary to several previous decisions of court.
It should be noted that it is a well settled principle in Uganda legal jurisprudence that once an illegality is brought to the attention of court the same cannot be ignored and courts have been quick to resolve that issue.
The case of Ham against DTB however is different as we have seen that whereas the issue of DTB Kenya having operated in Uganda illegally has been disregarded even after DTB not merely admitting but also having the same on court record and judgment entered on the same in the high court of Uganda at commercial division.
DTB appealed to the court of appeal but surprisingly all grounds of appeal including the issue of illegality was deliberately ignored and the court instead referred the said matter back to the high court for a retrial whereof Ham appealed to the Supreme Court where the lawyers of DTB again admitted they said issue of illegality but tried to hold the Supreme Court justices at ransom by influencing their decision by stating that in the event the justice of the Supreme Court resolved the issue of illegality in favor of Ham then it would affect the economy and have a lasting effect on the banking sector.
However, that position is not only an attempt to influence the decision of the Supreme Court but also an issue of conflict of interest and hypocrisy to the nation. It should be noted that DTB is represented by K& K advocates and the Attorney General Mr Kiryowa Kiwanuka who would have the interest of Ugandans at heart is instead defending DTB in an illegality and yet several Ugandans and Ugandan businesses have been closed and the owners including vendors have been arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned over the issue of operating without licenses and yet the Attorney General is defending DTB which operated in Uganda without a license contrary to sections 4 and 117 of the financial institutions Act (2004). This is hypocrisy and a conflict of interest and deliberate mockery of Ugandan courts and laws.
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Ham’s case not only exposes the double standards in our country but also makes a case for the common man who has suffered at the hands of government, in Kampala particularly, vendors on streets without licenses have been arrested in large numbers and presented before courts of law and they are eventually thrown in Luzira yet these men and woman are bread winners and struggling to earn a living so as to sustain their families. However, the Attorney General who sees fault in Ugandan citizens who are vendors operating on streets or without licenses to earn a living cannot come up to condemn DTB for operating illegally but rather offer them protection.
The judiciary has always exercised its independence and its yet again for the judiciary to stand firm and strongly pronounce itself on illegalities, because an illegality will always be an illegality irrespective of the clothing it is given. Ugandans are closely following to see if justice is only served against poor Ugandans who are struggling to feed their families and not rich multinational and foreign entities which consider Uganda a playing ground and lawless where they can commit illegalities and bypass the law.
We call upon all Ugandan both those who have been affected as a result of operating without licenses and those who are keen to upholding of rule of law to follow the case of Ham Vs DTB closely as it is yet to be another precedent in the banking sector as regards operation of financial institutions without licenses because just as any other business or individual, banks are not above the law and therefore the law cannot be applied selectively regardless of the consequences that would arise from courts of justice faulting a bank that operated or operates illegally as the same would not only send a strong warning to any other instruction which would think of operating in a similar in future but would also show that Ugandan courts do not apply the law selectively and there is no mockery of justice in Uganda.
In conclusion as the Hustlers Movement of Uganda, we have faith in the judiciary of Uganda and we are confident that the Supreme Court justices will uphold the rule of law and apply the law as it is and hence not condone further illegalities by banks as the case of Ham will set a clear precedence.