By Monica Kobusiinge
Masaka: The Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi has been summoned by Parliamentary Committee On Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) over departed Asian properties in Masaka following the recent approval of the new cities by parliament including Masaka, Mbarara, Mbale, Gulu among others which is expected to cause significant changes in terms of property ownership as well as administration to be able to organize and put the new cities in order.
The new city of Masaka is set to begin life on a clean state as Parliament starts the process of laying to rest the restless ghosts of ex-Asian properties that were grabbed by Idi Amin’s government in 1972 and have been changing hands through owners, some innocent and others con men.
Ssekandi is among the 73 persons controlling such properties in Masaka city that MPs are scheduled to meet on Friday 25 September in Kijabwemi Masaka district recreational centre. The 73 have been summoned to appear before COSASE.
Ssekandi with his fellow property owners has been directed to carry along with them proof of ownership like land titles, land purchase agreements, certificate of re-possession, certificate of purchase or an allocation letter from the custodian board.
A circular pinned on the notice board of Masaka city council hall says, “This is a notice and an invitation to registered owners and those in possession of plots of land listed below to attend a parliamentary accountability committee scheduled to take place on Friday starting at exactly 9 pm at Kijabwemi Masaka district recreational centre.”
According to Masaka district land board secretary Bob Asiimwe, some of the properties over which the 73 have been summoned are located on streets such as Elgin road, Herbert street, Edward street, Victoria road, Mawogola street and Mutuba gardens among other places in Masaka city.
Other property owners to appear before the committee include Hajji Noor Njuki, the Entebbe deputy RDC, Richard Kimera Bukakata sub-county councillor, Masaka businessmen Batisata Walugembe, Abubakar Makumbi, and William Dumba among others.
However, some of the summoned property owners said the MPs are just wasting their time when for instance Hajji Noor Njuki was contacted for a comment, he is aware that they have been summoned but he is not likely to show up because he legally acquired the property from the custodian board.
“Let COSASE settle those issues with the custodian board, We legally acquired the properties and when the running leases expired we had to renew the leases, so I don’t think that there is anything that we as lawful owners need again to be bothered about with such meetings,” Njuki said.