City Businessman Chris Mutinye the founder and Managing Director of Equator International Distributors Limited has accused his former Land Lord Ssemwogerere Patrick of Tropical Complex Building plot 35/36 Kyagwe Road Kampala of taking over his merchandise worth billions of shillings and selling it off illegally in the name of recovering rent arrears.
How it started
According to a demand notice written to the Land Lord Ssemwogerere at the end of 2018 by Akampumuza and Company Advocates on behalf of Chris Mutinye, Equator International Distributors Limited had been a tenant at Tropical Complex Building Kyagwe Road since 2008.
They had taken up a large space in the basement which they were using as a ware house and were paying 16.5 Million shillings a month for which they were never issued receipts reflecting the full amount which the letter says was a move geared towards tax evasion by the Land Lord.
As Mutinye’s business grew in leaps and bounds some competitors and unfriendly people with in the business world got jealous especially when he took to fighting counterfeit products.
At the prime of his company he was the authorised distributor of Nivea products in the country and across East Africa making sales of between 80 million and 300 million a day depending on how how much stock he had in the ware house at a given time.
However using their connections, his business rivals and enemies in 2014 managed to get some staff of Uganda National Bureau of Standards to put seals on his ware house and lock it up in the guise of containing expired goods well knowing he was an official distributor of Nivea products with all the proper licensing and documentation who could not at all sell expired merchandise.
Mutinye says UNBS never even carried out any tests on his products for expiry, quality or standards neither did they provide any documentation or evidence of a query to date in spite of him and his company staff reaching out to them to find out what went wrong which in itself is an illegality. “They just showed up locked up and sealed off the premises just like that” he says. To date UNBS remains quiet about this incident and what their real intention was.
Breaking of seals and merchandise sale
From 2014 when UNBS put seals on Mutinye’s ware house without explanation up to 2018 when the company realised the seals had been broken, they had been paying rent steadfastly pending the resolution of the issue but promptly stopped. As a result Mutinye says the Land Lord repackaged his merchandise worth 800 million and sold it to traders in Kikubo in the guise of recovering rent arrears.
He adds that the warehouse at the time contained goods worth 3 billion shillings all of which the Land Lord and his accomplices took over illegally. Mutinye through Akampumuza and Company Advocates there fore wrote a demand notice to his Land Lord Ssemwogerere at the end of 2018 demanding 3 billion shillings for him, his company plus legal fees for the Lawyers but the Land Lord remains adamant.
Mutinye says he is now going to take other steps to ensure he recovers his monies and the culprits are brought to book.
He also demands that his former Land Lord furnish him with tax invoices for his rent from 2014 to confirm that the said Land Lord has not been evading taxes among other illegalities.
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