August 30, 2022

EAC Court Awards $1m to Exiled Tycoon Rujugiro

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The session today at the EACJ

Court declares that the Government of Rwanda’s actions of taking over the Union Trade Center mall and subsequently selling it off are illegal and contravene the provisions of the EAC Treaty.

The Court in its judgment declared that the award of the Trial Court (EACJ First Instance Division) to the Respondent (UTC) is enhanced from 500, 000 USD to 1M USD against the Appellant (AG Rwanda) for the violation of Articles 5, 3 (g) 6 (d), 7(1) (a) & 2, 8 (1) (a) & (c) of the Treaty. Also Court awarded an interest of 6 % per annum from the date of the Trial Court’s Judgment until payment in full.

The Court further awarded costs in the main Appeal, cross appeal and the Trial Court to the Respondent (UTC & others).

The said orders were declared today 30th  August 2022 by the EACJ Appellate Division during its judgment in Appeal No. 10 of 2020, The Attorney General of the Republic of Rwanda vs Union Trade Center (UTC) & others.

UTC is a shopping center in Kigali previous owned by Tribert Ayabatwa Rujugiro, a Rwandan tycoon with businesses in Africa and Europe.

He has been accused by the government of Rwanda of financing rebellion from Uganda to oust the government in Kigali.

In 2013, UTC filed a case at the EACJ challenging the actions of the Committee in charge of unclaimed property in Nyarugenje District for taking over the management of the mall and directing the tenants to pay rent into a bank account in the Committee’s name. The mall was put under the Government’s statutory management after being classified as an abandoned property in 2013 which led to filing a Case to EACJ.

The parties in Court were represented by Mr. Nicholas Ntarugera for the AG Rwanda and Counsel Francis Gimara and Hannington Amol representing the Respondent.

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