By Andrew Irumba
A deadly property war has broken out between city tycoon Godfrey Kirumira, his son Gideon Kirumira, their in-law Andrew Tumwebaze Mirembe and city lawyer Deox Tibeingana, over a massive apartment in Kampala valued at Shs15Bn.
Trouble started when Tibeingana filed three separate suits at the commercial division of the High Court against Godfrey Kirumira (suit no 800 of 2019), Gideon Kabuye Kirumira (suit no 979 of 2019) and Kirumira’s in-law Andrew Tumwebaze Mirembe (suit no 798 of 2019), accusing them of allegedly conniving to grab his property.
Tibeingana also accuses Kirumira of issuing a forged land title which he is now trying to use to grab the property, which are apartments, still under construction.
They include; 12 apartments located on plot 7A along Chwa II Close and six on plot 55 along Chwa II Road, both in Mbuya, Nakawa Division, Kampala.
Tibeingana alleges that he has been dealing with Kirumira for several years, having met through a mutual business friend before Mirembe lent Tibeingana money to enable him pay off the landowners pending processing of condominium titles for his real estate company called Rivonia Homes Limited.
However, Tibeingana said he fell out after Mirembe was paid Shs700m by way of property in Najjera, Wakiso district, out of the Shs2.1Bn he (Mirembe) lent Tibeingana.
But when he was called upon to receive the balance, Mirembe reportedly became elusive and started claiming that he had bought the suit property since the titles were now registered to his name.
Tibeingana told court that “I needed quick money to pay the then registered proprietors, who had allowed me to start construction and pay the full amount after a set period. I needed to first create condominium titles to enable me to obtain advance payments from clients so as to pay back the moneylender.
In my projections, this was to last a maximum period of three months.”
Tibeingana narrated that since December 2018 he has been pleading with Mirembe to pick his money such that he can surrender the titles and clear the balance in vain.
He added that “Clients book off-plan and I build for them apartments. Upon completion, I hand over the apartments with titles. Some of my clients even wanted to pay Mirembe directly through his bank account, but he refused to execute the memorandum of understanding that the bank required us to sign before the money could be wired to him. He did all this with intent to grab my property. That is theft!” Tibeingana explained.
However, although they preferred anonymity, several of Tibeingana’s clients confirmed that they have made partial payments to the lawyer to develop for them apartments, adding that the handover of the flats was long overdue.
They also confirmed that they owe Tibeingana balances amounting to Shs7Bn which they can only clear after he hands over the apartments. Some have even dragged him to court over the same matter.
Through his lawyer David Sempala, Tibeingana has since filed a suit in the High Court in which he wants the court to allow him to deposit Mirembe’s money on the court’s account and direct him to surrender the titles for his apartments.
lending nature and the move by the defendant to transfer the land into his names was fraudulent, and a breach of the Tier 4 Microfinance Institutions and Money Lenders Act and other laws.
He is also seeking a declaration that the registration of Mirembe as the registered proprietor of the above-described land which was given to him as security for a loan is unlawful.
Tibeingana is also seeking, “a declaration that once the defendant was called upon to pick the money lent and refused, the interest stopped running from that date, and an order that the defendant should relinquish all his interest in the plaintiff’s Certificates of Title and get paid the money lent plus reasonable interest due at the time he was called upon to pick his money.”
He is also seeking an order of a permanent injunction to be issued against Mirembe and his agents or any person claiming under them restraining them from interfering with the plaintiff’s peaceful and quiet possession of the suit land
We have learnt that he also put caveats on the properties, apart from the six in Najjera, which he says he forfeited to Mirembe at Shs700m.
Tibeingana states that due to Mirembe’s action, his integrity has been seriously damaged amongst his clients, suppliers, and creditors, on top of locking money to his business.
In the suit, Tibeingana wants the court to declare that the transaction between him and Mirembe was purely of a money nature.
He also asked court for a consequential order cancelling any entries of registration of the suit land in the names of Mirembe and an order for payment of general damages for economic loss and discomforted visited on Tibeingana.
Although Kirumira and co-accused are to file their defence within 15 days, Mirembe insists he bought the property under contention.