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DRC Reparations: Gov’t Seeks Shs 2.8 Billion To Pay American Lawyer

Museveni and DRC’s Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Mpondwe Border in Kasese during the launch of infrastructure projects between Uganda and DRC.

Government has tabled a supplementary request of 2.8 billion shillings to pay arrears of Boston based law firm M/s Foley Hoag the law firm that has been representing Uganda in the DRC Reparation case.

The request was presented by the Deputy Attorney General Jackson Kafuuzi before the Parliaments budget committee chaired by Patrick Opolot Isiagi.

According to Kafuuzi, since 1999 when the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) filed a case against Uganda in the International Court of Justice -ICJ with various allegations in arising from the 1998 to 2003 conflict, the renowned firm Foley Hoag which has been representing Uganda in this case since then has never been paid the 2.8 billion shillings due.

Although DRC initially claimed 23.5 billion US Dollars in losses, but in 2015 when the matter was referred back to the court the claim reduced to 13.5 billion US dollars , but Uganda has continued to insist that the claim is excessive, unreasonable, and not backed by evidence among others.

Kafuuzi says that the firm has been engaged in all these court battles, until now as the country awaits final judgement following a successful oral hearing in April this year.

He says the legal fees for the firm owned by co-managing partners Kenneth Leonetti and Jeffrey Collins is still outstanding which may cause a bad image if it is not paid as Uganda can be taken to court for this.

Kafuuzi said that at every stage there was never enough funds to cover the fees and the actual were never predictable because services rendered depended on the schedules and tasks set by the International court of justice.

The Butambala MP Muwanga Kivumbi tasked the Attorney General to account for so far how much they have injected in the DRC reparations case. He says for several times, Uganda has been tabling financial requests for this case.

Kafuuzi also confirmed that they owe M/s Curtis Uganda shillings 2.9 billion in legal fees and expenses incurred during the course of Uganda’s court battle with Rift Valley Railways Uganda -RVRU.

The consortium in 2019 sued Government over its decision to terminate a twenty five year concession.

-URN

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