In a failing attempt to appease the powers that be, businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba at the weekend made a contribution of Shs100,000,000 to the Covid19 National Taskforce, set up by government to lead in the country’s efforts to stem the spread of the Novel Corona Virus in the country.
During his 11th address to the nation on Sunday evening, President Yoweri Museveni read out a list of contributions that have been made over the last week. The President praised a number of contributors while remarking on others but when he got Basajjabalaba’s, he hardly even acknowledged what the struggling businessman had contributed.
A source, speaking to us in confidence has stated that Mr Basajjabalaba has since before the 2016 General Election been on the watch list of Mr Museveni. The President was reportedly advised to distance himself from his former blue-eyed boy because of endless scandals that the businessman was involved in which could cause disrepute to the ruling NRM party and the person of the President.
The peak of Mr Basajjabalaba’s woes came last month when the Constitutional Court ruled that he refunds over Shs169 billion which he had taken from government in compensation for cancelled market leases around Kampala. In the Court ruling, five justices noted that Mr Basajjabala had through a number of his companies wrongfully executed contracts with the then Kampala Capital City, which were null and void since they were executed in contravention of the Constitution of Uganda.
“All the money paid as compensation to Mr Basajjabala and the aforementioned companies by government under the impugned contracts and leases shall be refunded by the said respondents jointly and severally to the government through the office of the Attorney General,” the court ruling issued weeks ago on March 25 reads.
Mr Basajjabalaba’s move to quickly make a donation to the government in the midst of his woes has been seen by pundits as a move to get back in the books of the Fountain of Honour in the hope that his debt will be forgotten.
Our source further stated that the President has over the last many months avoided meeting with the businessman. “This could have been his way of trying to catch the eye of the eagle again. But it looks like it has not gained the traction that Basajja (Basajjabalaba) sought,” the source stated.
While reading the contributions, Mr Museveni noted contributors like Justice Ministry Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirmana who contributed only Shs5,000,000 and other smaller contributions but quickly read past Mr Basajjabalaba’s Shs100,000,000.
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