Court Orders Parking Yard Operator to Pay UGX 135M for Burnt Vehicle

High court has ordered businessman, Ahmed Ntulume, the proprietor of a commercial parking yard in Nansana municipality in Wakiso district to compensate Charles Male for the loss of his vehicle that was burnt in his parking yard. 

The judgment stems from a suit filed by Male in 2016 accusing Ntulume of negligence and failure to install fire extinguishers in his parking yard, which saw his vehicle registration number UAT 298T burnt beyond recognition on May 4th, 2014.  However, during the hearing, Ntulume denied owning a commercial parking yard, saying the applicant’s car was burnt in his private yard.  

He explained that he doesn’t charge any parking fees and whoever parks there does so at his own risk. Ntulume also said he has erected a signpost indicating that whoever parks in his private parking yard does so at his own risk, saying he had no control over vehicle parked there without his permission.

He also told court that he saw fire gutting the cars and reported the incident to police and agreed to repair the vehicles.  In his judgment, Justice Musa Ssekaana noted that he had looked at the Police report and found that indeed the said parking yard belonged to Ntulume.

He also noted that it is really surprising that a person who doesn’t own a commercial parking yard executed agreements to repair vehicles he claims were not his responsibility. ” It defeats common sense to think like that, in addition to reporting the fire to police”, said Ssekaana.    

He observed that Ntulume was negligent in operating a commercial car parking yard without basic firefighting equipment, which would have assisted in averting fire. “It is reasonably foreseeable that cars are highly flammable objects due to the gasoline and that would have put Ntulume  on notice to take extra skill and care in conducting his business of commercial car parking”, he added.

He therefore directed Ntulume to pay Male Shillings 35 million for the vehicle and Shillings 100 million in general damages caused to him. The money will attract a 15 percent per interest rate per annum until full payment.

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