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JUSTICE DENIED: How a Money Lender Took Me to Court, Jailed Me for Money I Never Requested nor Received

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Dear Editor,

I have sought justice but all in vain, some one says he can accuse you of anything, takes you to court, you are never listened to and the learned magistrate makes judgement against you without evidence and makes sure the ruling stands.

This is what Sserunjogi Timothy, a money lender in Kampala did to me. He sat down, cooked a story, ran to court and brought trouble to my house hold. I leave in fear because he imprisoned me and even threatens to do the same if I don’t pay his money, which money I never requested from him or received it.

So this is how trouble unfolded on me in the face of a biased magistrate of Mengo who made a ruling without evidence but just heresay.

On 18th July 2020, I got a loan of UGx 1milion at an interest rate of 20% from Serunjogi Timothy and I was to pay Ugx 1,200,000 after one month and I have an email acknowledging this transaction

Between August 2020 to December 2020, I paid him an interest totaling to Ugx 843,000. From January to April 2021, the Principal amount plus interest had accumulated to Ugx 2,321,000 which money I acknowledged on an email dated 26th April 2021 as an accrued principle plus interest. The following day on 27th April 2021, Serunjogi Timothy (claimant) himself drafted a consent document, sent it to me through the boda boda guy to my home for signing. On the same document in my own hand writing I noted the following indicating that; This will be paid after the sale of my property, By 2020 I was not working with EADB, This amount was acknowledged on mail, The amount was 2,321,000, This document was received and signed on 1/05/2021, In the same document he clearly indicated that the money was used in the year of 2020 October.

On 22nd July 2021 we exchanged WhatsApp massages where he clearly indicated that it’s clocking a year no single PENny has ever been paid. He again in the same WhatsApp message indicated that Since last year u are saying this.

On 24 November 2021, Serunjogi ran out of patience and went to Mengo court and instituted a small claims case No 396/2021 against me. The summons I received clearly indicated that Evidence to be relied on was an agreement and I was to appear in court on 27th January 2022 at 10:30 am.

On 27th January 2022 we both appeared in court before Magistrate Muwanika Joanita. The magistrate asked me If I knew of that money, I told her that I know it and it was given to me in July 2020 and I had proof of that because there was an email to that effect which I had not brought to court that day. I further told her that I had paid the claimant some money through Mobile money an amount I couldn’t remember unless I got the MTN statements. I further indicated that this money was paid through two Numbers;0772653704 in names of Mugenyi Robert and 0772865845 in the names of Elinathan Timurekura who had since died.

She asked the claimant if it was true that we agreed on a  20% interest he said yes. The Magistrate further asked him whether he had a license to operate a money lending business to which he revealed that he had no license and gave it out of his pocket on a friendly basis. She then quickly reminded him that friendly loans don’t attract interests. Then this is when she asked him how much money it was, to which he replied that it was Ugx 1.8million plus interest it came to Ugx 2,321,000. She further asked when was this transaction done, he replied that it was in March 2021.

The magistrate further asked him whether he had an agreement, to which he replied in affirmative. Then she again asked whether we had a written agreement which he said he had it but he didn’t come with it giving a reason that he came hurrying because he had a sick mother in the hospital. Its upon this ground that the Magistrate adjourned the case to another date for purposes of bringing the agreement and i also bring the emails we exchanged in this transaction.

When we appeared on the adjourned date I presented my emails. One dated 18th July 2020 indicating Ugx 1.2million (Principle of Ugx 1,000,000 plus interest of Ugx 200,000) and another one dated 26th April acknowledging Ugx 2,321,000 as an accrued principle plus interest from Serunjogi Timothy of V8.She asked whether I had proof of MTN statements,I told her that I went to MTN they told me that without a national Identity card I can’t get it.Secondary the other number I had used it was impossible because the owner had since died.She asked what advise did MTN give me ,I told her that it’s only by court order that I could get the statements.I even suggested that the claimant get those statements then I meet the costs, but my suggestion was not allowed.

Surprisingly the claimant didn’t bring the agreement that led to the adjournment and neither was he tasked to produce it for justification purposes. Having heard that I am talking of a loan I got in 2020 and yet the claimant is talking of March 2021,she asked me whether I was running two accounts, to which I replied that I only know one account of July 2020 where I was given Ugx1million not March 2021.I totally denied having got any money from the claimant as alleged and even said that I didn’t deal with him in any money related transaction in the whole year of 2021.

To my surprise the magistrate agreed with the claimant saying that since he had initially informed court that he advanced Ugx 1.8million, that seems to be the loan in contention which loan court made it clear that it could not enforce interest. So on 3/2/2022 hell broke loose when court ordered me to pay Ugx 1.8mullion, Plus Ugx 67,000 plus costs of Ugx 100,000 totaling to Ugx 1,967,000. This judgment was signed on 3/03/2022 and was based on no evidence at all. So the question here that keeps puzzling me is,Where did the Magistrate grade one base her judgment if even an agreement was not produced in court?

On 3/3/2022, having been dissatisfied with her judgment, I applied for a review first to the trial Magistrate. On 14/6/2022 she upheld her earlier judgment giving reasons that there was no proof of payment of a single installment availed to court yet I was denied both the court order and my suggestion of MTN printouts by the claimant whose cost I was ready to meet.

On 23/8/2022 I applied for review to the Chief Magistrate. In my application I attached.

1.An email showing how much i got from the claimant and when it was advanced to me.

2.MTN statements that were not available by the time Magistrate grade one delivered her judgments.

3.Consent document that gave rise to this case, that was drafted by the claimant which clearly indicated that this money was used in the year 2020 October.

4.WhatsApp messages we exchanged with the claimant on 22nd July 2021 clearly indicating that the transaction took place in 2020.

5.Summons dated 24th November 2021 indicating an agreement that would be relied on as evidence which was never produced in court.

6.On 30/8/2022 long after the judgment, the claimant made a statement and smuggled it on court file that was before the Chief Magistrate, neither was it in my knowledge or the Magistrate grade one. This final statement was prompted by my concern where I said in my application for review that “It was a lockdown period and the claimant was never tasked to explain WHEN,HOW AND WHERE THE TRANSACTION TOOK PLACE.

In his response, he makes several false claims which are also untrue so in this statement. I didn’t talk to him on that day of 27th march 2021.i didn’t send him money for fuel ,if anything how much was it and how did i send it to him? he said i feared to sign documents because children were there and we moved outside to his car, the sole purpose of moving to his car was signing documents, so what happened when we reached in the car that i didn’t sign any document? He also alleges to have given me 1.8m at 18% by calculation interest alone was 324,000 then plus principle of 1.8m it’s 2,124,000 where did he get 2,321,000? Remember this figure collaborates with the one that accrued from the previous loan given in July 2020.

The Chief Magistrate would have used all these documents to reverse the grade one Magistrate’s decision because even the claimant in this statement had indicated that I had paid everything and I was not being demanded any money, save for another money he gave me in March 2021.

So this is where the Chief Magistrate would have summoned the claimant to prove his allegation of Ugx 1.8million he alleged to have advanced in March 2021 at 18% where he clearly indicated that there was no agreement made which contradicted the information on the summons dated 24th November 2021 where he said he had an agreement as evidence.

However surprisingly, on 6th September 2022, she just put comments on my application that “She doesn’t see where the Magistrate went wrong and therefore she couldn’t tAmper with her decision” even when i had attached the above documents that the Magistrate grade one didn’t have on court file by the time she delivered her judgment.

It’s on this note that I was again denied justice by the Chief Magistrate who had chance to compare and contrast the claimant’s statements where he had exonerated me from the first accusation.

The Magistrate grade one said I didn’t bring proof of any installment paid upon the money I had received, but here MTN statements were available and attached and the claimant’s statement which had cleared me of the earlier claim. Here he had instituted a flesh claim where he said that there was no agreement contrary to the summons dated 24th November 2021.The burden of proof lies on the one who alleges.

I tried to apply for revision at high court small claims division, I was told it can only be done by a lawyer which has a cost implication and I don’t have money to hire one. I also tried Justice Centres Uganda; I was told they have funds to represent only women not men. I tried legal Aid it yielded negative response. I tried private lawyers but could not afford the cost.

Having run out of options I tried the inspector of courts I was again referred back to high court to apply for a revision where I was again being taken to the same scenario where I needed a lawyer. Finally I sought audience with the PRO Judicially Mr Karemani, but was again referred to the high court to file for an appeal which amounts to the same thing. Making an application wouldn’t have been a problem if only I was allowed to represent myself.

I spent a lot of time trying to get justice and eventually I was told that time for an application for revision at high court had past that I had to first have to apply to file out of time which application I was not sure could be allowed as chances of being dismissed seemed high based on all I went through. The lawyer that was able to help me file the application feared it would be dismissed and he incurs more costs that are more than the money being demanded.

On 11 the January 2023 a warrant of arrest was issued against me and On 27th January 2023 I was arrested put in police cell at Old Kampala Police station and was produced in court on Monday 30th January 2023.Because I was from police cells someone was forced to part with Ugx 400,000 so as to secure my freedom which was paid at Mengo Court. After my release I got sick due to harsh conditions I went through in police cells and had to seek medical attention at Life Care Medical Centre.

Since then, numerous threats of being re-arrested intensified to the effect that a Samaritan had to part with another Ugx 400,000 with recent payment having been made on 6th April 2023.Apparently, I operate in hiding for fear of being re-arrested on fraudulent claims.

I would struggle to pay amidst the hardships I am facing with little income with many responsibilities, if only I was paying money that I have ever got and used. But it pains alot paying money you never got from the claimant and yet there are grounds to prove that the claimant never gave me the money in question.

Now I am wondering if such cases of false claims, without evidence continue being heard and decided in favor of claimants, what will happen having paid him this and he comes up  with similar claims in future?

I have all documents to support my defense, applications made from Magistrate grade one to Chief Magistrate in an effort to seek justice. I have denied having delt with the claimant in the whole year of 2021, payments made to court to secure my freedom due to unending threats from the claimant and his agents plus other relevant documents.

Its on this basis that I am seeking for intervention of any concerned citizens so as to meet ends of justice in this particular matter. I have gone through a lot and still being threatened to face more as a result of this false claim.

I remain Mugenyi Robert

Aggrieved Person.

A problem shared is a problem solved, let’s publish any issue giving you headache today in this segment, Send us an email via or WhatsApp +254797048150

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