TOP STORY: High Court quashes warrant of arrest for Dei Group chief

KAMPALA — The High Court in Kampala, has issued an interim order stopping the execution of an arrest warrant issued against the managing director of Dei Minerals International, Mr Mathias Magoola for his alleged failure to pay over Shs268b in legal fees to former minister of Urban Development Isaac Musumba.

Justice Anna Mugenyi issued the interim order on Friday, 04 March 2022, pending determination of the main case.
“It is hereby ordered as follows: An interim order staying of execution vide EMA No. 11 of 2022 by warrant of arrest dated 25th February 2022 is granted pending the determination of the main application for stay of execution. The costs of this application be in the cause,” she ruled.

This comes after Mr Mathias Magoola, on Monday, February 28, 2022 filed an appeal at the High Court, challenging the warrant of arrest issued against him.
The Commercial Division of the High Court on February 24 ordered for the arrest of Mr Magoola for his alleged failure to pay over Shs268b in legal fees to former minister of Urban Development Isaac Musumba.

Musumba had represented Dei Minerals International in a legal dispute, which saw his clients claim a compensation $211 million (over Shs700b).
The money in question is 30 percent of the decretal sum of Shs700b that Mr Magoola and his Dei Minerals International firm, earned from Videocon Industries Ltd, a UK-India based firm, for breach of contract.

However, Mr Magoola, through his lawyers of Joska Advocates and ALP Advocates on Monday, argue that the Commercial Court’s deputy registrar Juliet Hatanga did not follow the facts of the case while issuing the arrest warrant.

“Deputy Registrar [Juliet] Hatanga …. did not at all make reference to weightier clauses of the Consent Judgment that were emphatic to the effect that payment to Mr Musumba would only be after successful recovery of money from Videocon,” Mr. Magoola’s appeal argues.

Magoola adds that before the ruling, he had explained to Deputy Registrar Juliet Hatanga that he had got an update from the London lawyers, showing that the execution in London is still pending in the courts and that no money as such had been received by Dei.

“We have engaged the top law firms in London and paid hundreds of thousands of pounds and we have been billed another 500,000 pounds in the recovery process. We stand to be paid over $ 230 million, and somebody thinks we have been sleeping and have not exercised best efforts,” Magoola says.

Mr Magoola, runs a multibillion pharmaceutical factory in Matugga, near Kampala. The multi-billion biological drugs and mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility, was launched by President Yoweri Museveni on July 6, 2021, and it is hoped that its construction would help “making Africa self-sustaining in health care, a giant leap”.

At the launch, the President warned government officials against sabotaging Mr Magoola.

He said: “I congratulate the founding director Mathias Magoola, for the spirit of freedom fighting. He has suffered more from the hands of those meant to support him. My visit to the facility was therefore partly aimed at morale-boosting him and his team”.

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