Fred Freeman Kiyimba is enjoying his time in the limelight currently. The superb manner in which he has marshaled billions for Buganda through the ‘ettofaali’ fundraising has turned him into a wonderful fundraiser.
But, the news we have now comes with the potential of denting such shining image. Kiyimba is being accused of mismanaging funds realized from selling of lock ups in the new taxi park.
For starters, Kiyimba heads the company that was formed by the business community in the new taxi park to build storied lock ups and exchange them for the money paid by the traders.
One of the traders has moved to court claiming how Kiyimba is allocating lock ups to his relatives and cronies as well as reserving less lucrative ones for the real owners.
The trader mentions tycoon Tom Kitandwe among such cronies of Kiyimba whom he has allocated lock-ups, allegedly. Kitandwe owns Gazaland, among several multi-billion shopping malls.
Kiyimba’s accuser is Evarist Musisi. He lodged the qualms he holds against Kiyimba with the commercial section of the High court. Fearing that Baganda lawyers would shy away from prosecuting his case, perhaps, he hired a law firm from Bugisu to do the job.
In his case, Musisi accuses Kiyimba of purportedly using the project to earn illicit wealth. “Whereas the beneficiaries paid the sums set by the general assembly, Kiyimba has since come up with an extra 20m and later 1.8m on top of the genuine prices,” Musisi claims.
Then, he alleges how Kiyimba is pocketing the extra money. Musisi goes on to accuse Kiyimba of turning the traders’ project into his personal business.
“He takes all decisions without recourse to the general assembly. He does not consult members before taking decisions that affect the public liability company,” Musisi claims.
He mentions constructing lock-ups ‘beyond’ those on the original building plan as one of the ways in which Kiyimba is abusing the traders’ joint project. He accuses Kiyimba of ‘selling away’ such lock ups and ‘pocketing’ the proceeds other than ‘surrendering’ it to the company.
Kiyimba will not face the music alone. He is alleged to be acting in concert with the general secretary of the company whom Musisi has dragged to court as well.
Musisi wants Kiyimba fired. He wants court to look into how the lock-ups have been allocated, to whom and at how much in order to weed out strangers.
He also asks court to appoint an independent auditor to audit the company in order to discover the extent of the money lost and the damage done by the alleged actions and omissions of Kiyimba.
He asks court to make Kiyimba refund the ‘ illicit funds’ with interest and pay damages for abusing the fiduciary duty he owes the traders as well as reimburse the money he would spend on pursuing the case.
The deputy registrar Thaddeus Opisen wrote to Kiyimba on June 10, giving him 15 days to file a response or else lose the chance to defend the case.
Justice Christopher Madrama has been lined up to hear the dispute.