Court Rejects MTN Uganda’s Bid to Stop Mwami’s 2.8 Billion Lawsuit

Saturday, October 14, 2023
Former Senior manager in charge of public access at MTN Uganda, Richard Mwami. PHOTO/FILE
Busiinge Aggrey
6 Min Read

Kampala, Uganda | THE BLACK EXAMINER | MTN Uganda, a major telecom corporation, suffered a substantial setback in an ongoing dispute as it attempted to thwart a lawsuit brought forth by Richard Mwami, a former Senior Manager overseeing public access. Mr. Mwami sought damages exceeding Shs2.8 billion, including a claim of malicious prosecution against both the telecom firm and the Attorney General. This verdict was delivered by Honorable Justice Esta Nambayo of the High Court of Uganda at Kampala, Civil Division.

Judge Esta Nambayo of the High Court’s Civil Division ruled against MTN Uganda’s petition and mandated them to cover the legal expenses. The judge determined that Mr. Mwami had a valid case against MTN Uganda.

The roots of this legal clash date back to 2012 when Richard Mwami, a former Senior Manager overseeing public access at MTN Uganda Limited, was terminated from his position but secured employment with Mobile Money Africa Ltd in the same month. However, his employment with Mobile Money Africa Ltd was terminated in August 2013 following a directive from the Executive Director – Supervision at the Bank of Uganda, instructing the bank to suspend dealings with Mr. Mwami until he was cleared by the court.

Subsequently, he filed a lawsuit, HCCS No. 177 of 2012, against MTN Uganda Limited, alleging wrongful dismissal and seeking various remedies, including special damages, general damages, and a certificate of service, among others.

Years later, in 2018, Richard Mwami initiated another lawsuit, HCCS No. 440 of 2018, against MTN Uganda Limited and the Attorney General. This time, he alleged unlawful and malicious prosecution, asserting that the charges brought against him were groundless and motivated by malice.

In the recent judgment, MTN Uganda Limited lodged Miscellaneous Application No. 309 of 2022, seeking several court orders:

  1. To strike out Richard Mwami’s complaint in HCCS No. 440 of 2018, claiming that it was barred due to similarities with the earlier case.
  2. To strike out the complaint for failure to establish a valid cause of action.

Honorable Justice Esta Nambayo commenced her analysis by addressing the question of whether the second lawsuit, HCCS No. 440 of 2018, was legally barred as res judicata. She clarified that for res judicata to be applicable, specific conditions must be met, including the involvement of the same parties and the similarity of the matter in dispute.

The court concluded that the two cases presented distinct causes of action – wrongful dismissal in the first case and unlawful and malicious prosecution in the second. Consequently, the court determined that HCCS No. 440 of 2018 was not subject to res judicata.

The judge’s decision hinged on whether the defendants, MTN Uganda and the Attorney General, acted maliciously and without reasonable cause. The judge emphasized the necessity for the court to examine the evidence presented by both the plaintiff and the defendants.

Legal representation in the case included Ms. Barbara Musimenta for MTN Uganda and Ms. Mercy Odu from AF Mpanga Advocates for Mr. Mwami.

It is worth noting that Mr. Mwami had previously sued MTN Uganda in 2012, and Judge Yasin Nyanzi had ruled in his favor in 2016. He had also been acquitted of criminal charges in the Anti-Corruption Court.

MTN Uganda attempted to use Judge Nyanzi’s prior decision to argue that Mr. Mwami’s issues with the company had already been resolved. However, Judge Nambayo clarified that the 2012 case solely involved Mr. Mwami suing MTN Uganda, with the Attorney General not being a party to that suit. Furthermore, the causes of action in the two cases were distinct, rendering the 2018 case not subject to the principle of ‘res judicata,’ where a cause of action cannot be relitigated once it has been judged on its merits.

In 2018, Mr. Mwami brought a case against MTN Uganda and others, seeking Shs2.8 billion in special damages due to wrongful dismissal. He also requested general damages, exemplary damages, and interest at a rate of 25 percent per annum on all claims from the date of judgment until full payment. Additionally, he sought costs of the suit.

Regarding whether the complaint disclosed a valid cause of action, Justice Nambayo noted that the plaintiff, Richard Mwami, alleged malicious prosecution and provided details of the absence of reasonable cause and malice by the defendants, including MTN Uganda Limited. The court determined that these allegations were sufficient to establish a cause of action, and as a result, MTN Uganda Limited’s application was dismissed.

Document WhatsApp Follow Button

Share This Article
Examiner. Unfolding The Truth
We come to you. Want to send us a story or have an opinion to share? Send an email to
I've got feedback!
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *