Justice Mugambe Sues Contractor for Shoddy Work On Her Apartments

Top story
According to the judge, in March 2019, two ladies marketing the services of Hallmark Construction and Painting Company approached her with a proposal to undertake the finishing works on the apartment and subsequently introduced her to Kayita to discuss their contractual obligations.
12 Oct 2020 16:24
Lady Justice Lydia Mugambe

Audio 1

Justice Lydia Mugambe has sued Hallmark Construction and Painting Company Limited and its director, James Kayita for unprofessional conduct and executing shoddy works on her apartments.

Justice Mugambe says that her family constructed a ten unit apartment block in Ntebetebe Katuba Cell in Bweyogere in Kira Municipality, Wakiso district in 2016. During the process, they came in contact with two ladies marketing the services of Hallmark Construction and Painting Company, who introduced her to Kayita.

She explains that Kayita who holds out as an experienced and seasoned contractor together with a team of four to five other staff, met her in several meetings to discuss the scope of the works. According to the documents before the High Court Civil Division, Justice Mugambe stated that after inspection and negotiations, Kayita’s team presented a bill of quantities worth 450 million Shillings.

They drafted a contract on July 3, 2019, requiring the judge to make an initial deposit of 200 million Shillings and clear the balance  after six months, when the work is completed. Justice Mugambe deposited 200 million Shillings as agreed in the contract.

However, before executing any substantial works, Kayita requested for additional funding, saying he had used up the deposit to pay different suppliers.  Justice Mugambe advanced him another 120 Shillings million between August and November 2019.

According to Justice Mugambe, she did all this outside the contractual sum to cover the remuneration of the workers who had laid down their tools protesting the failure by their boss to pay them and purchase quality cement and sand sometimes to replace the poor quality material provided by the contractors. 

She also faults the company for using wrong mixtures,  poor quality sand and putting a third layer of plaster on the undercoat of the interior walls, which later made the walls to develop cracks. She also says the contractor installed poorly quality frames in the doors. "Even after rounds of attempts to rectify, many of the frames have cracks, are broken and some are not the contracted mahogany wood. Some remain slanted and not straight or properly fitted", reads the suit in part.

Justice Mugambe also says that they agreed and budgeted for Spanish Matt finish tiles but the contractor used inferior and locally made titles. According to Justice Mugambe, she hired an independent expert to audit the works and established that they were shoddy. She notes that on top of the failure to rectify the errors on the site, the contractor failed to complete the works and handover the project within six months.

In her suit, Justice Mugambe accuses the contractor of deceit, misrepresentation, negligence, blackmail, sabotage and breach of his contractual obligations. She wants court to compel Hallmark Construction and Painting Company Limited to pay her  323 million Shillings in special damages and 10 million Shillings per month as monies foregone from February 1, 2020, till the completion of the rectification works on the apartments as well as general damages due to anguish and numerous inconveniences and commercial losses. 

When contacted for comment, Kayita told URN that the suit isn’t about shoddy works, but that the judge decided to sue his company after they presented a demand note of 160 million Shillings.

//Cue in; “Yes I know…

Cue out... and sixty million,”//

Justice Musa Ssekaana, the Deputy Head of the High Civil Division, who will preside over the matter, is yet to set a date for the hearing.

Images 1