Fort Portal Suffering Under Weight of Court Cases Worth 10Bn

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Last updated on January 31st, 2023 at 12:53 pm

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Fort Portal City is to spend Shillings 10 Billion to pay out compensation arising from court suits.

Mayor Edson Asaba Ruyonga, says that the city is grappling with over 60 court cases, the majority of which they inherited from the former Fort Portal Municipality and are as old as 8 years.

In July 2020, the Government elevated Fort Portal Municipality to city status, which meant that everything that belonged to the Municipality now belonged to the city including the court cases.

Asaba told URN in an interview that it’s unfortunate that the City started on a bad note by inheriting the court cases, which need huge amounts of money to settle.


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Fort Portal Mayor, Asaba Ruyonga / URN Photo.

According to Asaba, the search for compensation money has affected service delivery in the city because the money that would be used for services like rehabilitation of roads, cleaning, and garbage collection is instead being diverted to settle court cases.

Some of the lawsuits against the city include one filed by Plinth Technical Works, which accused the municipality of illegal termination of the Nyakaana road contract. 

The former Fort Portal division and municipal councilors also dragged the municipality to court for alleged breach of contract resulting from the failure to pay their allowances.

In their petition, the councilors argued that they were elected in 2016 for a five-year term that was due to expire in 2021.

However, they say that the contract with their voters was terminated prematurely after Fort Portal was elevated from a municipality to a city status.


A law firm also sued the municipality for alleged failure to pay 1.5 Billion Shillings in legal fees.

The Mayor says that currently, the City doesn’t have money to pay off the compensation in court awards.

He, however, says that the City leadership has agreed on ways to raise the money.

He says that the City leadership has written to the Ministry of Local Government and the Solicitor General for guidance on how to handle the matter. 

He says that in the meantime they have resolved to dispose of some city assets to raise the money.

These include among others the 198 acres of land in Kyenjojo District and a number of

“ We have earmarked the land at mwenge. We are going to sell that. We have earmarked other things like those vehicles you see in the yard which belong to this institution. We may even go as far as selling what you see here… the tables, chairs, and the carpets and everything in order to save the institution.”  Asaba said.

He says that they will also seek an out-of-court settlement on some of the matters and seek help from the President. 

Asaba also accuses some technical staff and City politicians of conniving with companies and individuals to sue the City.

“ And what has been happening in Fort Portal is that we people in Fort Portal have been making sure that we are not in Court so that these cases can be post poned and in the end what Council is going to pay increases. Why has it been done in this manner? Connivance… a syndicate so that most of the money that Council is paying some of us are getting a percentage out of it.”

Richard Ndora, the Fort Portal City Town Clerk told this reporter that the case files were forwarded to the Solicitor General for guidance.

In December last year, court bailiffs impounded the official vehicle of the Fort Portal City Mayor over a debt of 37 million Shillings.

The debt stemmed from a case filed against Fort Portal municipality by David Kazoba Guma in 2018. 

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