A Chinese couple is accused of not pay up to Shs60 million in rent. COURTESY PHOTO

The High Court in Kampala has ordered Green Leaves Uganda Limited and its proprietors to defend themselves within 15 days against a case in which a city businessman Ismail Dabule is demanding more than Shs60m in rent arrears.

High Court Judge Musa Ssekaana ruled that the Green Leaves Uganda Limited and its proprietors demonstrated that they have a defence to the claim by Dabule.

“These are all triable issues of law and fact that cannot be settled in a summary suit. I accordingly allow the application for unconditional leave to appear and defend the case,” held Justice Ssekaana before directing the Chinese nationals to file their defence within 15 days.   

The court decision followed an application in which Golden Leaves Uganda Limited with its proprietors, Zhang Nan and his wife sought for permission to appear and defend themselves against the Shs60m case.

They allege that they are not indebted to Dabule and that the case is bad in law as it does not disclose a cause of action against them.

The Chinese business proprietors who operated The Great Chinese wall Restaurant in Kampala, are claiming that they are incompetent because they are sued as directors of Green Leaves Uganda Limited yet they are not personally liable for acts of their company by law.

It is alleged that there is no written tenancy agreement on which Dabule based on to claim for the more than Shs60m.

“That any rent obligation outstanding as of February 2019 were settled by the kind gesture of the first defendant (Green Leaves Uganda Limited) handing over the restaurant with its goodwill clientele and assets to the respondent with no cost,” reads the claim.

According to the court document, Dabule filed a summary suit where he is entitled to a summary judgement on liability if there is no issue which can be truly disputed and no other reason why there should be a trial.

Dabule sued Golden Leaves Uganda Limited and its directors for allegedly failing to pay twelve months’ rent arrears worth Shs60 million.

It is alleged that Golden Leaves Uganda Limited and its proprietors, Mr and Ms Zhang Nan  entered into a tenancy agreement with businessman Ismail Dabule where they operated a restaurant called The Great Chinese wall under Golden Leaves Uganda Limited and were to pay monthly rent of Shs5 million.

However Dabule contends that Mr and Ms Zhang Nan did not pay rent for a period of more than twelve months from May 2018 to April 2019 making to accumulate to the tune of Shs60 million.

It is alleged the accused Chinese nationals kept on promising to pay rent in vein and instead vacated the premises adjacent to Sheraton Hotel Kampala without the knowledge of the landlord.

“The respondent (Dabule) aggrieved by the actions of the applicants (Chinese), filed a summary suit claiming for payment if Shs60 million being rent arrears, payment of interest at a commercial rate of 25 percent per annum from cause of action till payment in full and legal costs incurred,” reads the court documents.