By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Several Kampala tycoons are sweating plasma after they were summoned by parliament to explain how they acquired thousands of real estate properties that belonged to departed Asians.
According to our sources, the properties under contention which Parliament wants tycoons to explain how they were repossessed, are over 1500, currently in the possession of city businessmen of both Ugandan and Asian origin.
This website has established that the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga on Thursday directed Kampala businessmen Mohammad Allibhai, Pradip Nandlal Karia and Minex Nandlal Karia to appear before the Parliamentary Committee investigating the alleged mismanagement of the departed Asians properties despite their constitutional petition over the matter in question.
The move came after the three tycoons petitioned Kadaga to protest their appearance to defend their acquisition of over 1500 real estate properties from the Departed Asian Properties Custodian Board (DAPCB).
It should be noted that Allibhai, Pradip and Minex petitioned Kadaga challenging the invitation to appear before the select committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), which is investigating the alleged illegal acquisition of the departed Asians properties from the Custodian Board.
The three argued that Parliament’s investigation of the matter would be a contempt of the Constitutional Court, breach of the rule of the law and violation of the subjudice rule.
However, in response to their petition, Kadaga said there is no breach of the rule of law since Parliament was the first to interest its self in the matter. Kadaga said the tycoons wasted time by running to court in their effort to block the investigation.
“You must appear before the committee,” Kadaga ordered, in reply to the tycoons’ petition.
The development came after the tycoons were accused of illegally acquiring 1500 properties that belonged to departed Asians, under dubious circumstances. Suffice it to note that Most of these properties are located on prime plots of land in Kampala and its suburbs.
Investigators reveal that one of the tycoons on the hot seat is Pradip Karia, the chairman and managing director of Property Services Limited, which developed more than 420 houses in Butabika (Royal Palms) under his firm Nationwide Properties.
We have since established that on July 21, when the Committee interfaced with the Kampala District Land Board to understand how some of the Asian properties were sold to certain individuals, several questions were left unanswered about the matter, since the Board officials couldn’t explain how tycoons had either acquired or repossessed several properties that are worth billions of shillings.
Worse still is that most of the properties that were repossessed by several city businessmen and civil servants had earlier on been compensated for by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government, which means that the state lost billions of shillings in tax payers’ money to tycoons and civil servants who later took over ownership of these properties that had been compensated for by government.