The exiled Rujugiro in a court over grabbed properties

Exiled Rwandan businessman Tribert Ayabatwa Rujugiro is not backing down in his efforts to recover his properties seized by the Rwandan government.

The First Instance Division of the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) on Tuesday started procedures to hear afresh the case in which the exiled Rwandan tycoon sued the government of Rwanda for “wrongfully and illegally taking over his property.”


Exiled tycoon Ayabatwa Tribert Rujugiro

This follows a November 2014 decision of the appellate division of EACJ that ordered the first instance to reconsider the case because of what it described “irregularity of proceeding.”

According to Yufnalis Okubo, the registrar of the court, the hearing was a “Scheduling Conference”, meant to set dates for future healings.

“Some people who claim to be shareholders in UTC have filed to join the case and all this will be reviewed in this hearing,” he revealed without naming the parties.

Rujugiro through UTC, a company he is a majority shareholder took the matter to the Arusha-based court seeking to hold the Government of Rwanda responsible for acts of the Kigali City Abandoned Property Management Commission that took over management of his shopping mall in the heart of Kigali after he went into exile.


Union Trade center (UTC)  is among the seized properties

Apart from this shopping mall valued at $20 million, the businessman also wants to reverse the seizure of his other properties including a residential mansion located in Gikondo, a Kicukiro district and a tea estate.

Mr Rujugiro however lost the case in November 2014, when the court ruled that he had not demonstrated a violation of the EAC Treaty, attributable to the Government of Rwanda but immediately appealed.

Without considering the arguments of the parties and their councils, the appeal court ordered that the case be heard de novo by the first instance court after establishing that the “Trial Court proceeded without evidence.”

Src: The Eastafrican

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