Court Orders Don Zella To Cough Ugx20M Security In Speke Apartments Burglary Case

Court Orders Don Zella To Cough Ugx20M Security In Speke Apartments Burglary Case

By Spy Uganda

Matters are not moving so well for socialite Sheila Nadege, commonly known as Don Zella who has since been ordered to cough Ugx20 as security before her burglary case against Speke Apartments Wampewo kicks off.

High Court Civil Division Judge Musa Ssekaana in a ruling sent to the involved parties via email on Friday said this money intends to cover potential costs that may be incurred by Speke in case Don Zella loses the case.

In 2020, Don Zella filed a lawsuit against Speke Hotel 1996 Limited, trading as Speke Apartments, seeking to recover US$125,000 following the alleged theft of her belongings from the apartments owned by city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.

In her suit, she claimed that she had rented Apartment numbers 107 and 512 at plot 19 Wampewo Avenue on December 6, 2020. However, during her absence with her family on Christmas Day, December 25, 2020, an unknown individual broke into one of the units and stole her cash, jewelry, mobile phone, camera, laptop, and children’s tablets, all valued at Shillings 456 million.

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Don Zella alleged that Speke Apartments had negligently denied her possession of the apartment keys, which compromised her security. She argued that having access to the keys would have mitigated the risk.

However, Speke’s lawyers noted that Don Zella colluded with Shanita Male and the alleged burglar, Jeremy Adome, to stage a burglary. Justice Ssekaana agreed with Speke Apartments, ruling that they had a solid defense and counterclaim against Don Zella.

During court sitting, Speke’s lawyers argued that Don Zella was likely to lose the case and might not have the financial means to reimburse the hotel for the costs they would incur in defending themselves against what they deemed frivolous accusations.

“The respondent was using counterfeit money in different currencies of United States Dollars and Euros in their staged burglary. The applicant contends that the suit filed by the respondent/Don Zella is frivolous, misconceived, and vexatious and it discloses no cause of action,” said Speke lawyers.

As a result of all the above, Justice Ssekaana agreed with Speke’s lawyers that Don Zella was unlikely to be able to pay costs if ordered by the court, leading to the directive for her to deposit Shillings 20 million as security.

“In the case before this court, the Applicant/Speke claims that the Respondent/Don Zella has no known source of income and that with the knowledge of her previous frivolous actions, it is only prudent that to have the latter pay security for costs for this matter which will ably be returned to the respondent in the unlikely event of the success of the main suit. This claim has not been refuted by the respondent,” said Ssekaana.

The judge concluded that the nature of the case demonstrated the frivolous and vexatious nature of Don Zella’s claims, as she did not have a contract with the apartments since the room was booked by Shanita Male.

The judge noted that Don Zella’s lack of known property, income, or business in Uganda, compounded by her residency in the United States, further justified the need for security for costs.

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