KAMPALA – Five legislators who are among twelve subcommittee members on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) didn’t append their signatures to ratify their participation in the investigations of operations of Departed Asian Property Custodian Board (DAPCB).
The investigation which lasted for 2 years saw the subcommittee chaired by defeated Makindye East MP Ibrahim Kasozi hand over the report to Speaker of Parliament at the start of this month, as the 11th Parliament wound up its operations.
The sub-committee was instituted to investigate allegations that some of the expropriated properties for which the government had paid compensation following the expulsion of Asians in 1972, were repossessed by those who had been compensated.
The sub-committee was also charged with establishing whether there was possible fraud during the course of repossession of properties, propose measures of safeguarding assets against fraud, and investigate any other matters that could be incidental to the administration of the properties.
In the 83-page report, Kasozi and team cite fraud in the manner in which most of the properties were repossessed.
The report further says that at least, 285 out of the 637 properties were repossessed by Ms Unia Ssebaggala, 119 by Mr Mohamed Allibhai and 53 by Ms Mumtaz Kassam.
The others were repossessed by Minex Karia, who took 46 properties; Praful Patel, who took 50 properties; Praful Chandra, who repossessed 18 properties; and N. K. Radia, who repossessed 66 of such properties.
However, 5 MPs who were part of the subcommittee refused to sign the report saying they couldn’t associate with a sham process.
They jumped out of the investigations before conclusion.
Those who didn’t sign include; Nathan Twesigye, Abraham Byandala, Prossy Akampulira, Allan Ssewanyana and Gideon Onyango.
Speaking to this website on condition of anonymity some of these MPs said they refused to be part of the fraud they were investigating.
“That report itself is fraud. And I refused to sign,” one of the MPs said.
We have since understood that in the middle of the investigations a section of the MPs was uncomfortable with manner in which Hon Kasozi had started harassing some of the Asians whom he invited for interviewing at Parliament.
“He turned it into money making venture. He would threaten that if they don’t give him some money he will ask police to arrest them,” said another MP.
Allan Ssewanyana, the Makindye West MP who spoke to this website said he had his reasons why he would be part of that report.
“Did you see my signature there? And do you know why I refused? Because I have a name and I can’t engage in corruption,” he said without substantiating his claims.
For example, the Kasozi and his team travelled to Canada and UK with the DAPCB executive director George William Bizibu, a man who was being probed for fraudulently selling the properties.
During investigations a group of Asians criticized COSASE probe as merely targeting is solely based on their race, colour and ethnic origin and also questioned sudden interest in Asian properties despite the fact that parliament had no proprietary interest in the repossessed property saying the decision contravenes sections in the constitution.
This website understands another group of Asians described the investigations as witch-hunt after they turned suggestions from Kasozi to wet his beak and lets them off the hook.
This website is following this matter and will publish more details on how corruption was at the heart of the investigations.