By Wilson Kutamba
A prominent businessman and real estate dealer, Frank Takaya, finds himself in hot water as the High Court orders his arrest for failing to pay an outstanding debt of Ugx17,630,000.
This dramatic turn of events has thrust Takaya into a risky situation that has captured the attention of the city and beyond especially the family members and people within his circles.
The roots of this legal battle is traced back to 2019 when Takaya initiated a lawsuit against one Ronald Luwago, Hood Keeya, the Masaka District Land Board, and the registrar of titles.
In his claim, Takaya asserted that they had wrongly cancelled his land title in favour of Ronald Lukwago and Hood Keeya. The contested land is located on Plot 4, Musisi Gardens in Masaka City, opposite Club Ambiance.
Despite his persistence in the legal arena, Takaya’s lawsuit was dismissed in 2020, for lack of merit. This means that the charges that were brought against someone were not supported by the evidence presented before court. As a result, he was hit with a hefty bill of costs for his legal adversaries.
The Burden of Debt
Court records reveal that the total cost incurred by the bonafide landlords’ legal team amounted to Ugx17,630,000, a significant financial liability that Takaya was now obligated to pay.
In a desperate attempt to avoid settling the debt, Takaya resorted to filing multiple applications in court, seemingly aimed at delaying and frustrating the payment of the taxed costs. Consequently, Takaya became consistently elusive making it hard for his opponents.
The situation took a dramatic turn on Friday, October 27, 2023, when the court received word, that Frank Takaya had gone into hiding. Faced with the impending legal obligations, Takaya seemed to be eluding the long arm of the law.
In response to his evasion, the Assistant Registrar of the High Court took decisive action by issuing a warrant for Takaya’s arrest.
Court bailiffs, led by Charles Lukyamuzi, were tasked with the responsibility of apprehending the city tycoon and ensuring his expeditious appearance in court to face his civil liabilities, but it proved to be no easy task at all.
Since the court’s decision, court bailiffs have joined forces with law enforcement officers, conducting a relentless search throughout the city of Masaka. Regrettably, their efforts have yet to yield any success, as Frank Takaya appears to have successfully eluded capture, and his whereabouts remain shrouded in mystery.
A History of Legal Troubles
Intriguingly, court documents brought to light by this publication also reveal that Takaya faced another legal setback earlier in May 2023. In this case, he went up against Hood Keeya and Pius Mugalaasi, ultimately losing once again.
Predictably, the victorious parties filed their bills of costs to recover their legal expenses, adding further financial strain on Takaya’s already burdened shoulders.
A Familiar Tale of Debtors in Hiding
Takaya’s predicament is eerily reminiscent of another prominent businessman in Masaka City, Emmanuel Lwasa.
Lwasa had previously failed to pay a debt of Shillings 18 million for advertising services and, as a consequence, found himself committed to civil prison. It appears that the city’s business elite are not immune to the clutches of the law when it comes to settling their financial obligations.
As the hunt for Frank Takaya intensifies, the city of Masaka is left in suspense, waiting for the day when the elusive tycoon is apprehended and brought to justice.
His story serves as a stark reminder that no matter one’s prominence or status, the law and its obligations spare no one.