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MPs grill BoU Deputy Governor over Departed Asians Properties

Luis Kasekende, the BoU DG explaining to the COSASE members. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Bank of Uganda (BoU) Deputy Governor Dr Louis Kasekende on Tuesday struggled to explain the whereabouts of UGX800 million that was meant to be paid to the Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board (DAPCB) as compensation following the controversial closure of commercial banks.

Last week, the DAPCB executive secretary, Mr George William Bizibu, told MPs on the Parliament’s Committee for Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that BoU is yet to compensate the money they had in National Credit Bank before it was closed.

MPs demanded to know from Dr Kasekende why DAPCB has not yet received the money yet some shoddy companies and individuals were paid by the government.

However, Dr Kasekende explained that all people and companies were compensated and that he does not remember a claim from DAPCB.

“We wrote out information and published in the newspapers asking those who had accounts to come for their money. The Custodian Board should explain why they did not come. According to the information I have, all account holders were paid. Why is this an exception?” he said.

However, this did not please the MPs, who demanded to know why BoU compensated some individuals at least twice for non-existent properties.

“In Annex C, it is indicated that Plot 7 Kanjokya Street was paid for by the government to two different people with the same amount,” said Samia Bugwe South MP Gideon Onyango, while perusing through documents submitted by BoU to MPs.

However, Dr Kasekende explained that BoU only effected payments acting on the instructions of DAPCB.

“The paying agent will not answer those questions.  I have not made an audit of how many properties were compensated. The information we are giving you, we got it in our archives,” he stated.

The select sub-committee COSASE is investigating circumstances under which properties that were compensated for by government have been grabbed. The Members of Parliament have since asked the government officials who handled the Departed Asians properties to table proof of compensation for each property. The select sub-committee is chaired by Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi.

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