Justice Ssekaana awarded damages worth 20 million shillings on grounds that an award of exemplary damages should not be excessive
Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The High Court has ordered a former employee of Uganda Baati to pay 20 Million Shillings in damages for defrauding the company.
Justice Musa Ssekaana of the Civil Division of High Court ordered Duncan Mugabi to pay 15 Million Shillings in general damages and 5 Million in punitive damages for defrauding Uganda Baati and its customers.
Mugabi who was the company’s sales manager for Western region is accused of forging invoices, demanding payment from customers, and reducing customers orders.
The company says they received several complaints from customers saying their accounts had been indebted without their knowledge and sometimes their orders reduced. One of the customers, God’s Will General Hardware complained that an invoice worth 9.4 Million Shillings had been created without their knowledge while on two occasions, their orders were less by items worth 15.6 Million Shillings.
Other customers, Kabareebe General Hardware and New Kashenyi General Hardware also complained that they made orders and deposited money but did not receive goods worth 23 Million Shillings.
The company launched an investigation and discovered several discrepancies relating to customers accounts that were handled and managed by Mugabi.
Uganda Baati says Mugabi obtained over 168.2 Million Shillings from clients forcing the company to refund the clients, leading to financial loss. The company also says they lost existing and potential clients due to Mugabi’s fraudulent actions.
The company asked the court to grant them special damages of 168.2 Million Shillings, 50 million in general damages, and 30 million in punitive damages.
However, Justice Ssekaana awarded damages worth 20 million shillings on grounds that an award of exemplary damages should not be excessive. The judgment was delivered ex-parte since neither Mugabi nor his lawyers responded to court summons when the case was fixed for hearing and didn’t file their defense.