The battle for the multi-billion Mosa Courts between NRM Honcho Moses Kigongo and “his wife” Olive Kigongo has taken a new twist .
The pair turned up at High Court Criminal/Execution and Bailiffs’ Division in company of their respective lawyers and headed straight to the office of the Principal Judge, Yorokamu Bamwine as duly summoned to hold mediated talks over the issue of dissolution of their Mosa Courts Company.
“I have heard that Olive wants to be compensated with USD10m which Kigongo out rightly rejected,” a source who eavesdropped the discussions reported to us.
It is said after a series of exchanges with interjections of wise counsel from Principal Judge, it was resolved that this matter be discussed further on March 9, 2015 in the chambers of Kigongo’s lawyer Macdosman Kabega.
Bamwine further directed all the parties to return to his chambers on March 11, 2015 and report to him what will have transpired in the discussion in Kabega’s chambers.
It was Kigongo who arrived first in company of his lawyers; Fred Muwema of Muwema and Company advocates and Solicitors and Macdosman Kabega of Kabega, Tumusiime and Company advocates along with their respective aides.
Kigongo arrived at exactly 9:58 and at 10:12 Olive also arrived.
She arrived with her lawyer Peter Walubiri of Walubiri, Kwesigabo, Bamwine and Company advocates and walked majestically to the Principal Judge’s chambers.
Shortly after entering Principal Judge’s chambers, the door was locked and no one else was allowed in including the Court Clerk who confessed to have been thrown out when the discussion started.
The group remained holed up in the chambers for over three hours.
Unlike Olive who bore no smile and wore a face of a woman in turbulent times, Kigongo smiled casually and freely exchanged pleasantries with his lawyers as they walked out of Bamwine’s chambers towards the parking lot.
After ascending to the last stairs of the high court building, Kigongo went close to “his wife” and whispered to her some inaudible things but Olive remained still and looking straight ahead without leaning to listen.
Kigongo later walked away with his lawyers and they all boarded the same car and drove off immediately.
Olive also drove off in her lawyer’s car and they all exited the gate in a convoy with Kigongo leading the way.
Olive, also the president of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI), was the first to run to court seeking dissolution of Mosa Courts Apartments Company so that they can share the proceeds.
In her affidavit in support of her case Olive claimed to co-own Mosa Court with Kigongo and being his wife. She claimed Kigongo owns 85% shares and she owns 15%.
She further alleged that shortly after Mosa Courts Company was incorporated the Board made a resolution authorizing it to borrow USD 800,000 (over Shs22bn) from International Finance Corporation (IFC) and this loan was granted by IFC.
She further claimed that on October 20, 2007 the Company resolved to open bank accounts in its names at Standard Chartered Bank Ltd, Speke Road, Bank of Baroda, Kampala Road Branch and that she was involved in the day-to-day running of the company from the date it was registered and was able to grow it to repay the IFC loan.
She further alleged that in 2011 Hajji Kigongo the majority shareholder took drastic and unexplained steps and removed her from the management of the company.
“He took all the company cheque books and company. I no longer have access to the records and bank accounts of the company and am totally excluded from all affairs of the company ‘including access to its properties like vehicles and telephones,” she stated.
She further asserted that Kigongo also held an extra Ordinary General Meeting on August 29, 2013 at which a resolution was made authorizing the company to open a Dollar Account with Standard Chartered Bank, Speke Road with Kigongo as the Sole Signatory
She concluded that those circumstances prove that the affairs of the Company are being conducted in a manner that is oppressive to her as a minority shareholder.
However Kigongo in his response to this case denied the allegations saying that he and Olive are legally married.
He also revealed that he never chased away Olive. He insisted that it is Olive who disserted her office.
“This Petition is a domestic misunderstanding disguised as a company matter which is now being brought maliciously and in bad faith with the intention of tarnishing our reputation,” Kigongo stated in his reply filed through his lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates and Solicitors.
He stated that the Company has never allotted shares to Olive nor has she ever paid for any shares in the Company and therefore has no locus standi (right to sue) against the company.
He admitted that the company borrowed money from IFC but clarified that the money was paid by the Company and not Olive.
“Though the Petitioner (Olive) was involved in the day to day management of the business with my support for the avoidance of any doubt, she did not invest any money in the Company or at all. In 2011 I discovered that Olive was mismanaging the financial affairs of the Company leading to unexplained losses in excess of over Shs5.7bn,” charged Kigongo.
He further asserted that several meetings to address the financial mismanagement were called but Olive refused to attend any of the meetings and she has since abandoned her office to date thereby excluding herself from Mosa Courts management.
He said he had to appoint new staff to help him and Olive could not continue accessing the books of Accounts, records and other Company property after she abandoned her duties as Director but she still draws/receives money from it.
He further explained that for over 15 years Olive was managing the company, she did not call any General/Board meeting to declare and pay dividends, except for the unauthorized payments she took from the Company.
He concluded by asking court not to wind up the company since it is a going concern and a winding up would injure and gravely prejudice its affairs.