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Uganda Court of Appeal Affirms Order for UNRA to Pay sh31.4 Billion to Parambot Breweries

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The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court decision directing the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to compensate Parambot Breweries and Distillers with a sum of sh31.4 billion. This ruling pertains to damages incurred to Parambot’s premises and equipment during the construction of the Gayaza-Zirobwe road in 2012.

In a unanimous decision authored by Justice Christopher Gashirabake, with agreement from Justices Muzamiru Kibeedi and Oscar Kihika, the court deemed UNRA’s attempt to deviate from the advice of the Attorney General, who had endorsed a settlement, as improper. The court highlighted that UNRA, as a governmental body under the Ministry of Works and Transport, should honor the opinion of the Attorney General, who had consented to the report of the Chief Mechanical Engineer.

UNRA had argued against the Attorney General’s consent, claiming it didn’t align with the constitutional definition of the Attorney General’s opinion. However, the Court maintained that the Attorney General’s acceptance of the Mechanical Engineer’s report bound both the government and its agencies, including UNRA.

Parambot had sued both the Attorney General and UNRA jointly for negligence and encroachment on its land during the construction of the Gayaza-Zirobwe Road, resulting in destruction to their facilities and machinery. Despite UNRA’s challenges to the court decision, none of the eight grounds of appeal were upheld.

The Court concluded that the damage caused during the road construction, where Parambot’s factories were situated, renders UNRA responsible under the Uganda National Roads Authority Act, holding it liable for claims arising from its functions. The ruling emphasized that UNRA’s liability stands even if third-party contractors were involved in the road’s construction.

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Considering the admission of the Attorney General to the compensation recommendation of sh31.4 billion, the Court upheld the decision, citing legal provisions allowing judgment on admission to grant speedy resolution based on agreed facts.

The ruling affirms the High Court’s decision, cementing UNRA’s responsibility to compensate Parambot for the damages incurred during the road construction.

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