People & Power

Two years probing Basajja Shs142 billion compensation

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Mr Hassan Basajjabalaba

Mr Hassan Basajjabalaba 

By  Dear Jeanne

Posted  Sunday, December 15  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

The file, which names Bank of Uganda Governer Tumusiime Mutebile, former Finance minister Syda Bbumba and former Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya in a conspiracy that irregularly compensated Mr Basajjabalaba, has once again been re-submitted to the DPP by police for sanctioning.

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When the Public Accounts Committee (Pac) of Parliament first began looking into the Shs142b irregular compensation to city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba, it was the talk of town, it was the media’s main story for the amount was large and more especially, bigwigs in government were involved.

It was a case that saw President Museveni, whose name had been mentioned by the various parties as having cleared the transaction, summoned by MPs.

President Museveni later met the MPs at State House Entebbe and cleared his name. He had directed otherwise even though he signed the clearance ‘unknowingly’.

Almost two years into the investigations, the file is being tossed to and from the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP) office.

The file
The DPP’s office recently returned the file that was forwarded to his office by the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID) to police with further directives.

Mid this year, Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile was ‘cleared’ of any crime in the Shs142 billion irregular compensation after the secretary to the board committee on Finance from the central bank recorded a statement with police showing that the governor had been granted authority to pay Mr Basajjabalaba.

According to sources privy to the ongoing investigations, the board secretary’s statement indicated that the board had cleared the governor to make the payments.

The file, which names Mr Mutebile, former Finance minister Syda Bbumba and former Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya in a conspiracy that irregularly compensated Mr Basajjabalaba, has once again been re-submitted to the DPP by police for sanctioning.

The spokesperson in the office of DPP, Ms Jane Kajuga says the returning of the files to police is an attempt to have a stronger case that can warrant a conviction.

“I can also not comment on the requests we made to police for additional information but we are trying to have a strong case,” Ms Kajuga told the Sunday Monitor.

The investigations into the irregular compensation have so far seen a case on forgery of a judicial order against Mr Basajjabalaba and his brother Muzamiru Basajabalaba sanctioned and is pending at the Anti-Corruption Court.

The initial investigations by PAC and CIID indicated that the compensation process was marred by irregularities, which led to the resignation of Prof Makubuya and Ms Bbumba as well as calls by legislators that Mr Mutebile steps down.

Mutebile blamed
Mr Mutebile had been faulted for failing to raise an alarm and question the compensation process after realising that the money was being paid to a man who he was already pursuing in a case of forgery and fraud.

When Basajjabalaba was given the Shs142b, BoU was pursuing him over forgery of land titles the central bank was holding in connection with an earlier cash bail-out of over Shs20b advanced to the businessman.

Whereas Basajjabala had deposited the titles as security, he reportedly managed to get them cancelled and new ones issued by the Land Registry, which were then transferred to new owners.

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