SUCCESS STORY: Always watch out who you borrow money from! - Justice Centres Uganda

SUCCESS STORY: Always watch out who you borrow money from!

Kennedy has been a registered UBER driver since 2019 and he got into serious troubles with a money lender after his car developed some mechanical issues. Since Kennedy had no money to do the necessary repairs, he approached a money lender. Kennedy and the money lender Johnson entered into an agreement for a loan of UGX 1.5 million and Kennedy put up his car as security. Johnson further directed that the repairs be done at a garage of his choice, which Kennedy agreed to because he was desperate. The repairs were made but the same mechanical issue recurred a week later.

Kennedy tried to raise funds from other sources, but when he did, Johnson seized his car and was served with a default notice the same day. At this point Kennedy panicked and sold some of his possessions to raise UGX 1 million to repay his debt, but to his surprise Johnson had already sold the car. After Johnson sold the car he broke off contact with Kennedy and so there was no way they would sit down together to resolve the matter. As a consequence Kennedy filed a case against Johnson with the Police in 2020. Johnson was arrested and later released on police bond. When the file was presented to the State Attorney for advice, the State Attorney advised him to file a civil suit hence his visit to JCU Mmengo offices in August 2020.

Kennedy wanted JCU to help him get his car back or receive compensation. A JCU paralegal officer, invited Johnson to a mediation but he did not appear and sent his lawyer instead. He offered compensation of UGX 4 million but Kennedy wanted UGX 9 million. After three more mediation sessions took place, Johnson through his lawyer, increased his offer to UGX 7 million which was finally accepted by Kennedy. A memorandum of understanding was signed to that effect. Kennedy was pleased as the compensation was paid in two installments and he used it to make partial payment for a better car.

You have helped reclaim my right to work said Kennedy after receiving his final installment. Issues of money lenders taking over their clients’ property in unscrupulous ways are rampant and JCU is always ready to legally support persons that fall victim to such situations.