Statutory Interpretation

COMTEL Intergrators Africa Limited v National Social Security Fund (MISCELLANEOUS APPLICATION NO 772 OF 2016) [2017] UGCOMMC 5 (24 February 2017);


Headnote and Holding: 

The applicant instituted a civil suit against the respondent in 2013 in a lower court. This suit was in relation to a consulting and ICT support services fees provided by the applicant for the respondent. With the applicant having not taken any step to prosecute the matter since 2013, the respondent applied to have the suit dismissed for want of prosecution. The court accordingly dismissed the suit. 

In this court, the applicant sought an order to reinstate this civil suit and set aside the dismissal. The respondent contended that the applicant’s failure to take steps to prosecute the suit against the respondent for over three years, was justification for dismissal of want of prosecution. Furthermore, the applicant had not shown any justification for failure to take these requisite steps.

The respondent thus claimed that this application would prejudice him as he had been burdened by the suit since 2013. 

This court held that the reinstatement of this civil suit would indeed prejudice the respondent. The application was dismissed on the grounds that it defeats the defence of limitation (as the claim or suit proceeded out of time) available to the respondent.


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