Nambasi V Khan Investments Ltd (Miscellaneous Application No. 602 of 2018) [2019] UGHCCD 126 (28 June 2019);
High Court, Kampala, Uganda

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This case, in Uganda’s high court, followed an earlier matter in which the Assistant Registrar ordered that a truck should be ‘attached before judgment’ as security for the appearance of the respondent. But rather than doing so, the respondent simply sold the vehicle to a third party. This was despite the fact that orders by the court’s assistant registrar are equivalent to a judicial order. The court heard that the respondent ‘disobeyed the court order and sold off the motor vehicle which amounts to contempt of court’.

Judge Ssekaana Musa was not impressed with the respondent’s approach:

A party who walks through the justice door with a court order in his hands must be assured that the order will be obeyed by those to whom it is directed.

A court order is not a mere suggestion or an opinion or a point of view. It is a directive that is issued after much thought and with circumspection. It must therefore be complied with and it is in the interest of every person that this remains the case. To see it any other way is to open the door to chaos and anarchy and this court will not be the one to open that door. If one is dissatisfied with an order of the court, the avenues for challenging it are also set out in the law. Defiance is not an option.

  • Newsletter, Judicial Institute for Africa (Jifa), 15 August 2019