Ugandans were waiting with bated breath to see the Aga Khan, a global business and religious leader and personal friend of President Yoweri Museveni appear in the dock in Buganda Road Court, following criminal summons against him but that won’t be the case as the Director of Public Prosecutions has taken over the case and subsequently withdrawn the charges.
The Aga Khan and three others had been summoned to appear before court to answer charges of electronic fraud, uttering false documents and conspiracy to commit a felony related to a case where businessman Hamis Kiggundu accuses DTB of illegally taking money from accounts.
The Aga Khan, Prince Karim Al Husayn Shah is the Chairman and founder of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. He is the owner of DTB and the summons had also been issued against Massimo Mohammed Devji, the Group CEO and MD DTB Kenya, Varghese Thambi, CEO DTB Uganda and John Sitakange the Head of Credit DTB Uganda.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions has pursuant to Article 120 (3) (b) of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda taken over criminal proceedings wherein you are the complainant,” Her Worship Valerian Tuhimbise who is in charge of the case wrote to businessmen Hamis Kiggundu through his lawyers Muwema & Co. Advocates.
“The purpose of this letter therefore, is to inform you that the criminal summons which were issued in this matter on are consequently withdrawn,” Tuhimbise wrote in a letter dated September 15.
It should be noted that DTB is being represented in the case by K&K Advocates, a law firm where current Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka is a partner. K&K Advocates faulted the move to have criminal summons issued against their clients arguing that the matters in question are already before the High Court and the Supreme Court and that the summons were issued without full knowledge of the relevant facts.
The main case is now before the Supreme Court after the Court of Appeal quashed an earlier Commercial Court ruling that had directed DTB to refund Shs120bn to Hamis Kiggundu.
Kiggundu said he had been servicing his loans but an audit and reconciliation of his accounts indicated that DTB had taken Shs34bn and $2.3m from his account without his knowledge. He ran to court also seeking a declaration that the loan that was granted to him by DTB Kenya was unenforceable on grounds that the Kenyan Bank had no licence to carry out business in Uganda. He won the case and DTB appeal, but a new hearing date is yet to be set.