Government to pay South African company shs150m in TV fees case.(New vision 25.09.2015)
Court has ordered the Government to pay a South African company shs150m as general damages for breach of contract in the abandoned television viewer’s licence fees of 2005.
Justice Benjamin Kabiito of the High Court in Kampala on August 21 awarded the company, Traces, shs 150m instead of the $513,295,409 (about sh 1.9 trillion) it had demanded.
The taxpayer was saved over one trillion shillings in a protracted legal battle that started in 2006.
Lawyers for the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) Joseph Matsiko and Bruce Musinguzi from Kampala Associated Advocates and Phillip Mwaka from the Attorney General’s chambers jointly argued against the sum.
The contract was signed on June 6, 2005 between the then Broadcasting council now UCC and the South African Company, which had a local subsidiary registered as Traces TV (Uganda) limited.
The company was required to collect fees from at least 700,000 television sets in the first five years. The bid invitation document stated that the television sets to be charged were two million in number. However it was abandoned following a directive of September 6, 2005, issued by President Yoweri Museveni to the effect that the fees were not to be levied on television sets that were not for commercial purposes.