- Published on Friday, 20 July 2012 08:55
- Written by Nkwasibwe Geofrey
- Category: news
- Hits: 354
Police are looking for city businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba to assist them in their investigations into suspected forgery of a consent judgement that exempted HABA Group of Companies from paying taxes on the controversial Shs142b government compensation claim.
Mr Basajjabalaba is one of the directors of the firm and his invitation to meet with the police follows advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions to the Criminal Investigations Directorate to interview the company’s directors over the matter.
Detectives are investigating whether a consent court judgment which allegedly exempted the company from paying taxes on the payout was forged. The payout was for compensation for city properties the company had been forced to cede to the government but an independent audit shows Haba Group did not deserve any compensation.
Although the company was supposed to pay over Shs900 million to government agencies, it received the compensation and did not pay income tax on it, a matter that is now the subject of the police investigation.
CID Director Grace Akullo confirmed that HABA directors are wanted to record statements with detectives investigating the matter.
“It is true that we have summoned them but they have not appeared. We are looking for them,” Ms Akullo said.
No charge has been laid against the company directors but investigators say they are looking for evidence whether the consent judgment submitted to circumnavigate the tax bill is a forgery, which would be contrary to Section 349 of the Penal Code Act.
The police say it’s also investigating uttering false documents of a consent judgement contrary to Section 351 of the same Act.
A police source, who preferred anonymity because he is not allowed to talk to the press, alleged they have been frustrated in their efforts to record statements from the company’s directors.
“After trying all peaceful avenues to secure statements, it seems we are left with one of arresting the three directors,” a police source said yesterday.
The Shs142b compensation by the government arose from the reversing of the Kampala City Council decision to sell three markets-Nakasero, Shauriyako and St.Balikuddembe (Owino) and the Constitution Square to Mr Basajjabalaba.
The controversial compensation, which an audit and a parliamentary inquiry showed was marred by widespread irregularities, led to the resignation of former Attorney General Prof. Khiddu Makubuya and former Finance minister Syda Bbumba last year.
The government also vowed to recover money from the company but it is not clear whether any has been clawed back.
Public Accounts Committee chairman Kassiano Wadri had earlier instructed CID to investigate a consent judgment dated October 6, 2010, which former Solicitor General, Mr Billy Kainamura and a court registrar, Stephen Musota, disowned and said was a forgery.
Mr Wadri also asked that another letter from Mr Christopher Gasharabaki of the Justice Ministry exempting Mr Basajjabalaba’s firm from paying taxes should be investigated.
Efforts to reach the three HABA directors for a comment were futile as their known telephone contacts were unavailable.
Source: Daily Monitor