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Government quits talks with Karim, sues him over Shs4 billion

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By  Yasiin Mugerwa

Posted  Friday, December 13  2013 at  02:00

In Summary

Amb Mugume said after the arbitration process, which had been recommended by the Attorney General on Hirji’s request failed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Solicitor General to sue the tycoon over nonpayment of public funds. The Daily Monitor understands that the case is pending hearing at Nakawa Court.

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PARLIAMENT- Government has quit talks with Imperial Royale Hotel proprietor Karim Hirji and has instead sued the tycoon over failure to pay Shs4 billion in taxpayers’ money he received to accommodate visitors during Chogm in 2007.

The government decision comes two days after Members of Parliament put pressure on Mr Hirji to refund the money or lose his property.

“We have made a decision not to go back to arbitration,” Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary James Mugume told the Daily Monitor yesterday. “Whenever we would go to the arbitration, they (Karim’s lawyers) would tell us that Karim is not feeling well and at times his lawyers would not even attend.”

Amb Mugume said after the arbitration process, which had been recommended by the Attorney General on Hirji’s request failed, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asked the Solicitor General to sue the tycoon over non-payment of public funds. The Daily Monitor understands that the case is pending hearing at Nakawa Court.

While Mr Hirji was not available for comment, when he appeared before MPs in March 2010, he said his hotel was ready for use and that he waited for delegates who never turned up. They, however, rejected his explanation and ordered him to refund the money.

ymugerwa@ug.nationmedia.com