UTC Founder Ayabatwa: The East African Court of Justice Rules it Does not Have Jurisdiction Over UTC

Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa
2014-12-08 16:42 2155

JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rwanda has announced it won the case in which UTC sought to recover illegally-seized USD20 million shopping mall. Rwanda did not win the case. The East African Court of Justice (EACJ) simply chose to "restrict itself to the jurisdiction conferred upon it." In other words, EACJ decided it did not have jurisdiction over legal disputes in the ambit of national courts.

EACJ's pronouncements, nevertheless, would embarrass any reasonable government. Rwanda's defense was that it should NOT be held responsible for the actions of the Commission of Abandoned Properties which illegally took over UTC, as the Commission has its own legal personality. Rwanda government literally disowned the Commission to avoid responsibility. This tactic is akin to so badly wanting to win the battle but setting yourself to losing the war. EACJ indeed rejected this maneuver outrightly, stating that Rwanda government's responsibility for seizing UTC "has been duly established before us" and "accordingly, this issue is resolved in the affirmative."

Rwanda's credibility is fast depleting, says Senior Advisor David Himbara. "Seizing private property is one sure way of confirming to the world community that Rwanda is neither bound by laws, nor does it care enough about the impact such actions might have. Little wonder that the international community that formerly held Rwanda in high regard are turned off. Aid to Rwanda plummeted from USD1.2 billion in 2011 to USD661 million in 2013. Further, Rwanda has slipped from 32nd to 46th position in ease of doing business."

Although EACJ declined UTC case, Ayabatwa is encouraged by the Learned Court's reasoning. "Our case is compelling - and everything has a beginning and end. As long as we have credible courts such as EACJ, we will recover UTC and other properties illegally seized, however long the legal processes may take. As the proverbial saying goes, 'patience is a virtue.' Justice and fairness always triumph and UTC is no exception."

Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa is a successful Pan-African businessman invested across the continent in various sectors. He has invested millions of dollars in Rwandan economy including UTC. For more on Ayabatwa, see; on his philanthropy see

For further information contact David Himbara,

Source: Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa