The High Court in Kampala has cleared Kabira Country Club of Ugx 147 million water bill earlier demanded by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC).
According to the judgment issued by Justice Musa Ssekaana, the lead Magistrate at High Court Civil Division, the bill issued to Kabira for water allegedly consumed between 2013 and 2017 was issued erroneously.
In 2017, Kabira Country Club petitioned the court noting that in 2010, NWSC installed water meters on their commercial premises with different meters serving different sections of the same premises.
The evidence before the court shows that one meter was specifically being used by Kampala International School which was occupying that part of the premises and it was Kabira Country Club paying bills for that meter.
However, in 2013, the school ceased its operations, and NWSC was accordingly informed and the water meter was no longer in use and as such, no bills were ever sent on that meter until 2017.
The evidence also shows that Kabira Country Club demolished the buildings and facilities used by the school and the same were left excavated and physically disconnected from the system of NWSC.
However, the evidence further shows that in 2017, the water pipe and valve of NWSC were damaged as a result of the construction of road works in the area by Kampala Capital City Authority leading to heavy leakage of water.
It adds that NWSC repaired the water leakage later and took the meter in 2017 upon which they issued a bill of 147,260,805/= as an outstanding bill for 37,623 units of the said meter. It then started issuing invoices and when Kabira refused to pay, they were disconnected on grounds that they were the ones who were consuming the water. But Kabira contested the bill hence petitioning the court.
In his decision on July 15th, 2021, Justice Ssekaana ruled that Kabira Country Club’s witnesses informed the court that the tractors of KCCA while conducting public construction works knocked and damaged the water meter which resulted in uncontrollable leakage of water.
According to the Judge, this evidence was never challenged in cross-examination by NWSC
“The defendant/NWSC appears not to have challenged this evidence which went to the root of the problem and even during cross-examination the same was not challenged. This leaves this court with an inference that it was admitted as the correct position”, said Ssekaana.
He added that the evidence from Kabira Country Club shows that in November 2014, the meter was reading was zero but the same was never challenged by NWSC.
“The law is settled on failure to challenge the evidence on a material or essential point, then such evidence is deemed admitted as inherently credible and probably true”, reasoned Ssekaana.
According to Ssekaana, the circumstances of the case as presented in evidence shows that NWSC’s claim is premised on assumptions because Kabira never consumed any water on the meter in question.
He thus issued an order awarding Kabira Country Club costs of the suit and declared that and any demands or bills based on current meter reading when it was removed for repairs after leakages are very erroneous and baseless.