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Gov’t Faces UGX 7. 2 Trillion in Court Cases

The Solicitor General Francis Atoke while appearing before PAC on Thursday expressed worry that the money will continue rising given that people are aware of their rights and take advantage of every error committed by government ministries and departments to demand for compensation.
Solicitor General Francis Atoke appearing before PAC with other Justice Ministry officials.

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Government risks paying out 7.2 trillion Shillings in cases it loses.

The money in form of contingent liabilities and guarantees comprise of cases that have been filed against Government pending hearing, cases before courts under hearing and cases in which government has appealed against the Court ruling.

The contingent liabilities are determined from estimated amounts of claims against government by litigants and the amounts are used to determine the fees chargeable before the case is heard.

The Solicitor General Francis Atoke while appearing before PAC on Thursday expressed worry that the money will continue rising given that people are aware of their rights and take advantage of every error committed by government ministries and departments to demand for compensation.

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In his June 2018 report, Auditor General John Muwanga noted that the contingent liabilities figure has been significantly increasing citing an 18.2 percent increase from 6.16 trillion reported as at 30th June 2017 to 7.29 trillion as of 30th June 2018.

“I further observed that contingent liabilities totalling to 112.5 billion shilling were provided for during the year ended 30th June 2018 and given the numerous litigations, it is likely that the figure will increase. Due to the increasing contingent liabilities, there is a risk that the situation may jeopardize government operations in case the liabilities crystallize,” reads part of the audit report.

According to documents tabled before PAC, some of the ministries under which contingent liabilities are include Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs 36.3 billion, Uganda Land Commission 53.8 billion, Uganda Prisons Service 60 million, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development 31.6 billion, Ministry of Gender 121.1 million, Ministry of Health 94.3 million, Ministry of Education 288.7 million, Office of the President 10.31 billion, Ministry of Finance 316.3 million and others.

Maruzi County MP Maxwell Akora wondered why the contingent liabilities are not catered for under the Treasury for better planning saying that they are a national debt in away. But Atoke argued that the funds have not yet accrued and that is why they are reported by the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Ministry.

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PAC Chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi directed the Solicitor General to avail his ministry with a reconciliation of the 7.2 trillion showing how many cases and their awards that have crystallized and those that are yet to crystallize. He directed that the information is provided on Friday.         



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