By Spy Uganda
Kampala mogul Dr Sudhir Ruparelia, who is the Ruparelia Group chairman and honorary Consul to Nepal, has Tuesday June 30th, 2020 appeared before parliament to defend himself in the ongoing investigations into how several city tycoons and government officials acquired departed Asians’ properties.
Tycoon Sudhir appeared before the Committee on Commission, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), to answer queries regarding how he acquired some properties from the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB).
Sudhir was summoned through a letter dated June19th, 2020, signed by the Clerk to Parliament, to appear DAPCB.
According to the letter summoning Sudhir, seen by this Website, he was tasked to appear before COSASE, along with the following documents;
1. Power of Attorney,
2.Letters of Administration
3.Certificates of repossession
4.A current Status report in terms of the current tenure and ownership,
5.Any other relevant information pertaining to the matter.
Currently, the Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board is chaired by finance minister, Matia Kasaija, Betty Amongi, Jenipher Namuyangu, Michael Kafabusa Werikhe, Gen.Caleb Akandwanaho AKA Salim Saleh, Farouq Lubega and the executive secretary, George William Bizibu.
It should be noted that on the 7th February 2020, the Chairperson Wakiso District Land Board, Ddungu Livingston and the team, appeared before the (COSASE) Chaired by Hon. Kasozi Ibrahim. The Committee was investigating the alleged fraudulent transactions on the property of the departed Asians.
COSASE is interrogating circumstances under which the Asian properties that were fully compensated for by Government ended up in ownership by individuals and companies.
The Expropriated Properties Act Cap. 87 guides the repossession of formerly expropriated Asian properties in Uganda and this provides that eligible persons to repossess the property include; a former owner who was a registered proprietor at the time of expropriation or a shareholder and a duly appointed attorney of any former owner.
Some of the property under investigation include; Plots 33-37 on Kampala Road Entebbe and Plot 65 on Kampala Road Entebbe. The Committee queried how the ownership of such property changed from leasehold to freehold.
Wakiso District Land Board and the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB) presented the documents including the copies ownership certificates showing how the property ownership was transferred.
However, the Committee insisted that the matter was so serious that original files and certificates have to be presented. This was because there were some variances in the names of the owners and dates on the documents.
In 1983, the Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board was put in charge of between 9,000 to 10,000 properties of Asians who were evicted from Uganda during President Idi Amin’s era.
However, by 2009, 1,676 properties had been sold, some repossessed, compensated while some 3,226 remain unsold and unclaimed.
Watch this space for details about the COSASE investigation!