By Our Lira Correspondent
Telecom giant’s impunity of trespassing on people’s land and refusing to pay the monetary value has been rejected by the High Court in Lira and has ordered that the company pays the former Deputy Inspector General of Police (IGP) Julius Peter Ocur Odwe, Shs526.9M in punitive damages.
The latest court orders faulting MTN for its arrogance might not augur well with its clients who have the option to switch to other operators especially now that Ugandan owned UTL has been revamped by government .
Mr Odwe sued MTN Uganda Ltd in 2012 for allegedly forcefully laying its fibre optic cables underground across his land, preventing him from expanding his building constructions. The suit land is located in Dokolo Town Council.
The then Lira High Court Judge, Lady Justice Dr Winifred Nabisinde, heard the case and visited the locus (land) in issue and delivered judgement –holding that MTN trespassed.
Court awarded the former deputy IGP Shs300 million with interest at 23 per cent from the time of the judgement till full payment.
Lady Justice Nabisinde also directed that MTN and Mr Odwe to negotiate and agree on terms and conditions for continued use of the land where the fibre cables have been laid.
Mr Odwe’s lawyer, Counsel Quirinus Oyugi Onono said: “However, MTN continued to trespass, making money and ignored the land owner with impunity. They instead went to court to block payment of all debts amounting to Shs526,915,000.”
This matter arising from civil suit number 10 of 2012 – MTN Uganda versus Ocur Odwe – came up for final disposal on December 19, 2022, before Justice Duncan Gaswaga, the Lira Resident Judge.
Justice Gaswaga heard submissions of the parties against the stay of execution and found no merits to block payment of the debt by MTN to Mr Odwe.
“The application lacks the merits and is hereby dismissed with costs. The court declines to set aside the Garnishee Order nisi issued in Miscellaneous Application no 123 of 2022,” he ruled .
The ruling has been welcomed by law abiding citizens in lira who have told this publication that its time MTN was stopped in its tracks of earning trillions of money at the expense of Ugandans and asked all aggrived Ugandans to go to court and have MTN pay for its transgressions .
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