Luweero’s Ndawula Seeks to Overturn Bankruptcy Declaration

Outgoing Luweero LC-V chairman, Ronald Ndawula has petitioned the Court of Appeal seeking to stay of execution of a High Court order that declared him bankrupt and subsequently caused for his disqualified from the Katikamu North parliamentary race.

At the close of last month, the Electoral Commission (EC) chairman Justice Simon Byabakama disqualified Ndawula from the parliamentary race  after the High Court in Kampala declared him bankrupt in a judgement that arose from a petition filled by Hiraa Traders (U) Limited.

Ndawula has since 2012 been battling with the company in court over a debt of Shs 223 million that the NRM chief in Luweero incurred after acquiring two cars on credit.

 In a 2015 judgement to the case, Ndawula was ordered to pay Shs 542.3 million in interest, court costs and damages to the company.

In December 2020, High Court in Kampala presided over by Justice Duncan Gaswaga declared Ndawula bankrupt after he failed to pay the money.

Basing on the provisions of Article 80(2) (d) of the 1995 Constitution and Section 4 (2) (d) of the Parliamentary Elections Act which states that “a person is not qualified for election as a Member of Parliament if that person has been adjudged bankrupt,” Byabakama disqualified Ndawula.

He accordingly directed the returning officer for Luwero to take action.

However, Ndawula, an independent candidate in the race, has now petitioned the Court of Appeal challenging the ruling that declared him bankrupt and wants a stay of its execution.

Ndawula says that that the Court declared him bankrupt without following the procedures as stipulated in the law because the Court never sought a statement the state of the affairs to establish whether he could pay the debt or not.

 He added that he was not served notice of the bankruptcy, further arguing that it’s irregular to declare him before his appeal challenging the award of the Shs 542.3 million to the company has been disposed off.

The Court of Appeal is expected to hear the application on Tuesday.

Troubles for Ndawula are not yet over, he recently lost  his schools – Everest College located in Luwero town which have been sold by Equity Bank  to his political rival, Denis Sekabira, the National Unity Platform (NUP) candidate in Katikamu North.

Equity Bank through CL Risk Management Services put the Everest Colleges comprising of a primary and secondary school on sale after he failed to pay back a loan amounting to Shs 800 million.

Ndawula has since filed a case at the Criminal Investigations Directorate accusing Sekabira of fraudulently acquiring the schools.

The police have summoned Sekabira to appear before detectives at Luwero Central Police Station to answer charges of fraud and uttering false documents in the acquisition of the school.

Sekabira is expected to appear on Wednesday with Equity Bank manager Sam Kirubi to defend the transaction.

Ndawula alleges that Sekabira didn’t have money to buy the property but instead the Bank advanced him a loan using the title he had not acquired which is irregular.

He added Sekabira is alleged to have bought the school at Shs 1.3 billion but while transferring land title to his names, Equity bank declared only Shs 898 million to the Bukalasa Land office to defraud the government of taxes.

He also challenges the transfer of his land title to a new buyer without notice. He also claims that  the caveat over the land was illegally removed.

Denes Sekabira has confirmed receiving the summons but advised Ndawula to sort his issues with the bank not him because he followed the legal process to acquire his property.

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