A one Mosses Musinguzi has sued government over its pledge to bail out struggling city businessmen and companies.
According to a case filed Friday in the High Court as Civil suit No 311 Of 2016, Musingizi, who describes himself as a male adult Ugandan of sound mind, a citizen of Uganda who is interested in good governance and respect for rule of law brought the suit as a public interest litigation matter in enforcement of what he called his fundamental rights and freedoms.
The case has been brought against the Attorney General and the distressed companies and individuals who applied for a bailout of over Shs1.3trillion from government.
Through his lawyers of Joel Olweny & Co Advocates, Musinguzi says that in the month of July 2016 and for sometime before that, the defendants jointly contrived a plot in which the 2nd to 47th defendants (Businessmen seeking bail-out) applied to government to conspire and agrees to use Ugandan taxpayers’ money, government revenues or other monies raised or received on behalf of the government of Uganda to pay off the businessmen liabilities owed to various financial institutions totalling a sum of Shs1,304,595,266,414.
“The said payment popularly referred to as a bailout was confirmed by various government of Uganda officials at various events and in various correspondence, press statements and official documentation. The 1st defendant (Attorney General) has considered and approved the said bailout and intends to pay the said sums to the said financial institutions to distress their businesses and normalise their operations,” he argues in his suit.
To Musinguzi, the above “illegalities are part of the string of illegalities that have been perpetuated by the defendants in the management of the affairs of Government to the detriment of the citizens of the Republic of Uganda”.
He adds that the above actions f the defendants are an infringements of articles 21(1, 2 & 3), 26(2a), 38(1), 153, 154(1a, 2, 3, 4), 157, 159(2) and 160(1) of the 1995 constitution of the republic of Uganda.
He avers that all adult citizens of Uganda carry on business and take financial risks and liabilities of all nature similar to the businessmen seeking bailouts but have not received such a bailout.
Musinguzi further argues that the actions and decisions of the Attorney General to bailout the struggling businessmen discriminates against all Ugandans on ground of their economic standing as compared to the businessmen, of whom majority are tycoons.
“The drawing of funds from the consolidated fund or use of any other government revenue can only be done for the purposes of meeting expenditure necessary to carry on the services of the government or paying public debt and a bailout to private individuals is not one such withdrawal and is prohibited by and would infringe and threaten article 53, 154 (1a, 2, 3, 4), 157, 159(2), 160(1).
“The actions of the defendants jointly and severally shall deprive the citizens of Uganda of their property comprised in the comprised in the consolidated fund and money and all government revenues or other monies raised or received for the purpose of, or on behalf of or in trust for the government of Uganda without compensation in the form of public services or authorised payment of public debt and appropriation of national resources and would infringe and threaten article 26(2a) and 38(1) of the constitution.”
He says intention to sue was communicated to the defendants but they ignored henceforth the raise of cause of action.
He seeks court to declare that the application for, receipt for consideration of, the consideration of and any decision by government of Uganda to pay a bailout or use Ugandan taxpayers’ money and any and all government revenues or other monies raised on behalf of or in trust for the government of Uganda to the defendants is illegal.
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Musinguzi further seeks court to order the defendants to jointly and severally pay compensation of Shs5billion into the consolidated fund of the republic of Uganda.
“A permanent injunction, punitive damages, exemplary damages of Shs1,000,000,000; Aggrevated damages of Shs4,000,000,000; general damages and Costs of the suit.”