The Public Accounts Committee of Parliament, PAC, has demanded that businessman Hassan Basaajabalaaba produces before it a breakdown of all the original claims he made to government, totaling to 142.6 billion shillings, which he claimed in lost business opportunities, premiums and accumulated interests.
Basaajabalaaba was quizzed for over four hours by the accountability committee for the money that the Auditor General said was awarded to him unfairly.
In a report to parliament dated July 26th 2011, John Muwanga, the Auditor General said instead the businessman, through his joint venture name, Haba Group of Companies, is the one who owed government of Uganda up to 994 million shillings.
Other documents that the committee wants the tycoon to produce include copies of original agreements signed with government to take over Nakasero, Shauriyako and Owino markets and the Constitutional Square, before losing out on them after controversies dogged the process.
The markets were reclaimed by the original vendors working there, who said they could pull together resources to develop the markets for themselves, forcing government to intervene and remove the properties from the tycoon and award him compensation.
Basaajabalaaba told the committee that government had already paid him about 97 billion shillings as part compensation.
Members of the committee were perturbed by the huge amounts of compensation given to Basaajabalaaba for properties that he did not even develop or put to any use. They questioned him on what procedures he used to arrive at the value of money lost in terms of time.
Basaajabalaaba shocked the MPs when he said that it was the MPs and government servants who were making the money he asked for in claims look like big money but that to him it is not. He said his original claim presented to the president in 2006 demanding for compensation was 65 million dollars, an equivalent of about 190 billion shillings.
The tycoon explained to the MPs that before his compensation demand was finally approved, he met President Yoweri Museveni two times, in 2006 and 2008, to explain his misery with the loss of business. He said it was in 2009 when the president gave a directive for his money to be paid in 60 days.
Basaajabalaaba says he would be happy to give back all the billions paid to him in compensation if government gave him back the properties to develop. He opposes plans by government to give the markets to the vendors saying that would be a waste of land as a public asset in the middle of the city.
Committee Chairperson, Kasiano Wadri, has not specified when they would meet the tycoon again to go through all the documents asked for.
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