Court name
High Court of Uganda
Judgment date
11 June 1998

Total (U) Ltd v Buramba General Agencies (Arbitration Application-1998/3) [1998] UGHC 8 (11 June 1998);

Cite this case
[1998] UGHC 8

 

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
IN THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA AT KAMPALA
ARBITRATION APPLICATION NO.3/98

TOTAL (UGANDA) LTD……………………………… APPLICANT/OBJECTOR
- VERSUS -
 BURAMBA GENERAL AGENCIES
……… RESPONDENT/CROSS OBJECTOR

BEFORE: THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE JAMES OGOOLA
JUDGMENT

By a Transport Agreement (“the Agreement”) concluded between the Applicant/Objector: Total (U) Ltd (“Total”) and the Respondent/Cross Objector: Buramba General Agencies (“Buramba”), Buramba undertook to transport and distribute Total’s petroleum products. Subsequently, Total claimed a breach of that Agreement by Buramba; whereupon the parties agreed to refer the issue to arbitration by three arbitrators, whose award dated 14/11/97 found in favour of Buramba. Specifically, the arbitration award decreed that Total pay to Buramba Shs 60m/= as special damages for loss of income, and Shs l0m/= as general damages.

The present appeal by Total before this Court, challenges that arbitration award principally on the ground that one of the arbitrators (Mr. Kafuko-Ntuyo), appointed to the panel of the arbitrators by Total itself, was biased in carrying out his functions; in as much as he filed a reply to the formal statement of claim on behalf of Total; and, that therefore, Mr. Kafuko-Ntuyo ceased to be an impartial arbitrator; and “is deemed to have commenced his role’ as an arbitrator with pre-conceived ideas and notions”; and should have disqualified himself altogether from participating in the arbitration proceedings. Secondly, Total also challenges the arbitration award on the grounds that the amount of Shs 60m/= special damages and Shs l0m/= general damages, was excessively high.

At the outset of this appeal, the parties raised three preliminary issues for the Court’s determination. First, Total sought, against