Coming up for Judgment:  7th April 2022.

Reference filed: on 24th August 2018.

Articles:  3(3)(b), 6(d), 7(2), 8(4), 12, 27, 30(1) & 2 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community (EAC).

Rule: 63 of the East African Court of Justice Rules of Procedure, 2019.

Subject matter: Constitutionality of the Special Court Decision.

The Applicant, ROGOFARM is a company doing business in Burundi and the Respondent is the Attorney General of Burundi sued on behalf of the respective Government.

The cause of action arose out of a contractual transaction entered between the Applicant and Ruzizi Company on a disposed landed property. Applicant alleges to have paid all general expenses in the transaction in accordance with an order issued by Inspector General of Finance of the Respondent State. Thereafter become the exclusive owner and invested on the property.

However, in July 2012 a public owned company seized the Commission on Lands and Other Assets to recover its boundaries. The matter was taken to the Special Court on Land and Other Assets. The Applicant also filed a case on his right to property in the Constitutional Court. The Constitutional case had to be finalized before the one in the Special Court. Even so, the Special Court made a decision before the Constitutional Court which the Applicant alleges to be contrary to Article 230 of the Constitution of Burundi that provide for stay of proceedings awaiting the decision of the Constitutional Court and therefore an infringement of Articles 6(d) and 7(2) of the Treaty.

The Applicant therefore seek for orders that, the decision taken by the Special Court on Lands and Other Assets, is an infringement of the EAC Treaty and the sale effected between RUGOFARM and Ruzizi was legally made.

The Respondent contends, the land was returned by the Special Court on Land and Other Assets for being illegally sold and the Applicant having lost in the Court instituted this Reference as an appeal against the decision of the Special Court. That, this Court lacks appellate jurisdiction on cases arising from domestic courts of the EAC Partner States. Therefore, the Reference be dismissed with costs

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