High Court: Mugumya Brian (suing as the Administrator of the Estate of the Late Regina Katahirima) v Deox Tibeingana and Others (Miscellaneous Application No. 1304 of 2020) before Hon Justice Alexandra Nkonge Rugadya
The applicants were seeking an order restraining the respondents from evicting the applicant, his caretakers, agents and employees from the building situated on the land in question until the final determination of the main suit. The grounds of this application were that the applicant, Mr. Mugumya Brian, is the administer of the estate of the late Regina Katahirima who is the registered proprietor of land (‘the suit land’). The late Regina agreed with one of the respondents to develop the suit land with 12 condominium units and the respondent breached the contract when he failed to perform his contractual obligation fully. The respondent well aware of the alleged breach created condominium certificates of title on the suit land and transferred. The respondent refused to pay rental fees as agreed in the contract and that further dealings, transfers and sale threaten the applicant’s interest by the respondent who is already in breach of the contract between him and the deceased.
The Court in the determination of the merits of the application for a temporary injunction should bear in mind that; temporary injunctions are discretionary orders and all the facts of the case must be considered and balanced judiciously. No fixed rules are governing how it is granted and the vetting may be kept flexible. The Court should not attempt to resolve issues related to the main suit.
The main purpose for the issuance of a temporary injunction order is therefore restricted to the preservation of the suit property and the maintenance of the status quo between parties, pending the disposal of the main suit. From the pleadings and submissions, Court noted that the applicant claimed that suit land belongs to his late mother who is the registered owner of the reversionary interest and that the respondents fraudulently procured and created condominium titles with forged signatures of the last Regina Katahirima. Court noted that the above indicates that the applicant made out a prima facie. The questions to be addressed by this Court concerned actual ownership of the property and whether or not the applicant had any locus to file the head suit.
On whether the applicant will suffer irreparable damages, the Court stated that the purpose of granting a temporary injunction is for the preservation of the status quo, defining the parties’ legal rights pending litigation. The Court does not at this stage determine the legal rights to the property but merely preserves it in its current condition until the legal title ownership can be established or declared. Failure to grant the injunction might compromise the applicant’s ability to assert their claimed rights over the land
The judge noted that Court must strike a balance between the applicant’s interest and any third parties bona fide interests likely to be affected by the order. Accordingly, the status quo to be preserved would call for maintaining the restrictions as already imposed by the caveats which had been lodged onto each condominium certificate on behalf of the beneficiaries of the estate administered by the applicant.
The Court ruled that for purposes of preserving the status quo, a temporary injunction is hereby issued along with the following terms; that the respondents, their agents and employees are restrained from selling or making any further transfers of the condominium title or through any other way alienate or create encumbrances over the suit property or construct or make any developments until the final disposal of the suit and that, and that the applicant shall remain in occupation of the two units further issued as ordered by this Court.