The High Court in Kampala has ordered the government to compensate one Moses Besimira with 225 million Shillings for illegally impounding his vehicle ten years ago.
Besimira reported a case of a missing vehicle registration number UAK 588G, Mitsubishi Fuso at Central Police Station Kampala on September 8, 2011. The records show that the vehicle was eventually found at the Central Police Station in Kampala but the owner was never told why it had been impounded.
After trying to reclaim the vehicle in vain, Besimira, in 2015, opted to petition the court. He argued that the vehicle which was back then valued at 95 million Shillings had become a shell while under police custody. It remains parked at the Criminal Investigations Department -CID headquarters in Kibuli
Besimira demanded to be compensated with more than 600 million Shillings in damages for what he described as the unconstitutional and extremely oppressive actions of the Police. Court further heard that although Besimira had not yet transferred the logbook for the motor vehicle from DFCU Bank Limited to his names, at the time of the suit, the bank had authorised the change of ownership of the said motor vehicle.
However, the government, through State Attorney Charity Nabaasa told the court that although DFCU Bank gave the authorization to change ownership of the vehicle, the same was never done.
Today, Justice Musa Ssekaana, in a Judgement sent to parties via email observed that the Commandant Kampala Metropolitan Police had ordered for investigations on why Besimira’s vehicle was impounded and failed to find any. He subsequently ordered that the vehicle be released to the owner in 2013, an order which was never honoured.
But Ssekaana said that the vehicle in question was already used for three years and could not be valued at the same cost as a new vehicle. Instead, Ssekaana awarded 110 million Shillings as the fair value of the motor vehicle, 100 million Shillings as general damages and 15 million Shillings as a punishment to police never to repeat similar acts.
He also ordered that the said money will attract an interest of 15 per cent per anum effective 2015 when Besimira filed his case and the rest of the awards will also attract 15 per cent effective today, until payment in full. He has also ordered the Police to pay Besimira the costs of the case.
In June 2020, the then High Court Civil Division Judge Lydia Mugambe ordered the government together with Assistant Commissioner of Police Anatoli Muleterwa to compensate Adrine Kemirembe with 282 million Shillings when she reported a case of stolen car registration number UAE 130H which had been illegally auctioned by Muleterwa.
But Muleterwa has since appealed against the court order.