Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Director of Public Prosecutions-DPP has explained why charges against Kampala businessman, Hassan Basajjabalaba, and his brother Muzamiru Basajjabalaba, were dropped two months ago.
In 2013, Basajjabalaba and his brother Muzamiru were sued in the Anti-Corruption Court after they had been accused of not paying taxes arising out of the 142 Billion Shillings they had received from the government as compensation for the botched contract taking over Kampala markets.
Josephine Namatovu, the Assistant Director of Public Prosecution in charge of Anti-Corruption said that they were forced to drop charges against Basajjabalaba because most of their key witnesses have since passed away. However, Namatovu did not disclose the witnesses.
Before the case could be determined, Basajjabalaba ran to the Constitutional Court arguing that their trial was illegal because the procedures and actions of the police and the DPP and the laws under which they were being tried contradicted several articles of the Constitution.
They lost the battle in the Constitutional Court and they appealed to the Supreme Court which also dismissed their claim as meritless and ordered the resumption of their trial. But since November 19, 2021, when the Supreme Court cleared the way for the resumption of the prosecution, the Anti-Corruption Court had not moved an inch to reinstate the case.
This forced the Legal Brains Trust-LBT, a local not-for-profit organization that had also sued Basajjabalaba for signing contracts to take over the markets without the advice of the Attorney General, to write to the Chief Registrar demanding that the case be fixed for hearing.
Legal Brains Trust also filed an application seeking the High Court to force the DPP and the Attorney General to resume the case. However, the court declined to register the case instead writing to LBT informing them that they couldn’t resume the case because the DPP had withdrawn the matter.