Kampala | RedPepper Digital – The High Court Commercial Division in Kampala under civil suit no. 321 of 2018 in the case of Lawrence Tumusiime versus Patrick Idringi Salvado has ruled that the latter; the defendant in the suit pays special and general damages to the former, an amount of UGX482,264,750 and UGX30,000,000 respectively.
To complete the full payments, it would require the comic about 15 years to pay out the damages leaving all factors constant.
The court session presided by commercial court Judge Duncan Gaswaga ruled on 16th August 2021 that Salvado misrepresented himself in March 2016 when he approached Lawrence Tumusiime and purported to act and to enter a tenancy agreement while camouflaging as the director of a non-existent (read briefcase) company called House of Laughter bar and grill limited.
“That the defendant breached the terms of the said tenancy agreement and is hereby held personally liable for the said breach and the resultant loss and or damages thereof that the plaintiff is awarded special damages of UGX484,264,750… at the rate of 6% per annum from the date of filing the suit until payment in full,” reads the ruling in part.
Court also awarded the sum of UGX30,000,000 to Tumusiime at the same rate of 6% from the date of judgment until payment is made in full. The cost of the suit will also be paid by Salvado.
BACKGROUND OF THE CASE
On 28th June 2016 when Lawrence Tumusiime; the landowner at Kyadondo block 222 plot 2448 in Namugongo Kira division wakiso district entered into a tenancy signed an agreement with Salvado to develop the former’s land with the intent of setting up a bar business named House of Laughter bar and grill limited.
In the agreement the two parties agreed to a five-year rental term whereby Salvado would pay the Landlord; Tumusiime a monthly rent of UGX4.5m with effect from 1st June 2016.
He was also given the mandate to redevelop the structures on the said land that involved demolishing the old structures and constructing a new one at his own cost.
However in the twist events, after signing the said tenancy agreement on 9th March of the same year as director of ‘House of Laughter Bar and Grill Limited’ the company was found to be non-existent upon scrutiny on the company register at Uganda registration services Bureau (URSB) by court thus a breach of contract.
“House of Laughter Bar and Grill Limited on behalf of which the defendant (Salvado) had signed as its director was non-existent at the material time and in fact, no such company had ever been incorporated under the laws of Uganda,” reads part of the ruling as per the case.
Salvado also arm-twisted Tumusiime into accepting that his said company is partners with one David Greenhalgh thus giving him false hope that the deal was legit hence entering into the tenancy agreement.
The said Greenhalgh; a wealthy businessman from the United Kingdom is popular for his court case with Shanita Namuyimbwa aka Bad Black, whom he sued for fleecing him of billions of years back.
Black’s law dictionary defines misrepresentation as a false statement or misrepresentation made intended that the listener; who was Tumusiime in this case, will rely upon it and act upon it to their detriment.
House of Laughter Limited was the only company that was found in the company register and it was incorporated much later on 16th June 2016 carefully leaving out the words ‘Bar and Grill’ and thereby making it different from House of Laughter bar and grill limited which was used in the signing of the tenancy agreement signed between the two that court labelled a blatant lie. The laws of Uganda also states that a non-existent entity cannot sue or be sued.
As if that is not enough, Salvado after taking possession of the land failed to pay the first-month rent that tantamounts to breach of contract as per the earlier agreement signed.
When we reached Rachael Tumwebaze; the lawyer to the plaintiff to find out how far with the process of the payment of the court awards to their client, she says that the defendant should is bound by the signature of the judge to oblige to the outcome of the ruling.
Salvado is a household name in the leisure and entertainment industry after he cut a niche in the comedy space in the 2010s after competing in Africa Laughs talents search. Standup comedy has been growing in the country through leaps and bounds from the turn of the twenty-first century.