KCCA probes UGX 14 billion payment to law firm

BY: Eyalama In Business On

Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA is investigating circumstances under which 14.9 billion shillings was paid to Messrs. Sendege Senyondo & Co Advocates. The firm had reportedly represented Kampala city Council and later Kampala Capital City Authority in courts of law for a period of 20 years, recording up to 460 cases on file.

However, according to Joash Sendege, a partner in the law firm, KCCA and its predecessor KCC failed to meet their side of the bargain and financial obligations to the firm prior to the termination of their engagement in 2015.

As a result, the firm dragged the city authority to court in a battle that ended in 2017 with a judgement compelling KCCA to pay the legal teams for the services rendered over the years. The Judgement issued by Justice Christopher Madrama Izama resulted in a payment of 14.9 billion shillings to Messrs. Sendege Senyondo & Co Advocates.

The discussion came up during an interface between the law firm and a council sitting chaired by Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago.

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Sendege told the council that the court was the only an option for the firm after failing to secure payments for close to two decades from the city authority which was acting in disregard of advice by the Solicitor General to pay the firm for the services rendered. He added that the firm only sought compensation for only 363 against a cause list of 460 cases.

Caleb Mugisha the Acting Director Legal Services confirmed to the council that indeed there was a piece of advice from the solicitor general for KCCA to pay the firm. He, however, added that the Solicitor General indicated that some costs could be discussed between KCCA and the firm and be left out.

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Mugisha requested to refer to the records and ascertain the counsel provided by the former Director Legal Affairs Charles Ouma on that matter.

The discussion on legal costs stems from the 2018 Kampala District Public Accounts Committee-CPAC report which showed that KCCA had accumulated 49 billion shillings in legal costs.  The report, however, noted that the committee had failed to gain access to the legal files leading to the costs.

One of the issues the committee is expected to find out is how KCCA worked with the firm. Joash Sendege told the council that the firm worked with minimal pay for over 20 years and had sought for better when KCC advanced to KCCA in 2011

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