Constitutional Court Orders Basajjabalaba to Stand Trial

3rd, May 2018

The Constitutional court ordered that the corruption trial of city businessman, Mr.Hassan Basajjabala together with his brother Mr. Muzamir Basajjabalaba that was stayed five years ago should resume before the Anti-corruption court.

The businessman and his brother face several charges ranging from forgery of a judicial document, uttering of a false document and conspiracy to defeat tax laws.

The charges stem from their failure as directors of Haba group to pay a 20 billion shillings tax liability from a compensation of 142 billion shillings received from the government for the loss of contracts to manage city markets between 2010 and 2011.

 

Four of the five justices declined to drop the charges as requested by the brothers who had alleged that they would not get a fair hearing in the Anti-Corruption court.

The Justices ruled that there is nothing unconstitutional for the Basajjabalabas to face trial before the Anti-Corruption Court since the said charges fall under the ambit of the Anti-corruption Act. 

Court further directed the registrar of the Constitutional Court to quickly forward the case file back to the Anti-Corruption Court so that the stalled trial can resume. 

Constitutional Court also ruled that the rights of city businessman were violated during the initial stages of his prosecution of the Shs142b case. The judges added: "The breach entitled the 1st petitioner (Basajjabalaba) to compensation. However, the violations arenot such an aggravated and prolonged nature to justify stay of the proceedings."
The majority ruling of 4:1, was read out by Hon. Justice Kenneth Kakuru on behalf of Hon. Justices; Remmy Kasule, Eldad Mwangusya, Ruby Aweri Opio and Solomy Balungi Bossa.

The Justices also awarded the businessman 50 per cent of the costs he incurred in pursuing the case since he had succeeded in part.