KAMPALA — The executive secretary of the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB), Mr George William Bizibu has been placed under investigation over UGX1.6 billion property involving city investor Margaret Ssekidde of Seroma Ltd.
The joint investigation by both State House Anti Corruption Unit and the Criminal Intelligence Directorate (CID) was sanctioned by President Yoweri Museveni after the investor reported the matter to the head of state.
President Museveni is known for acting tough on government officials who frustrate investors.
Mr. Charles Twine, the spokesperson of the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) without giving the progress of the investigation, on Monday said told this website that top Custodian Board bosses including executive secretary Mr Bizibu are being investigated on orders of President Museveni.
PML Daily has seen a letter written by the Permanent Secretary in the Finance Ministry, Mr Keith Muhakanizi—warning against allocation of properties belonging to departed Asians.
In a March 23, 2018 letter to Bizibu, Mr Muhakanizi warns that it is only court that can direct the cancellation of a certificate of title of such property and not the board or its members, some of whom are ministers.
“…where repossession certificate for properties under the DAPCB had been issued, only the relevant courts of law had the authority to cancel such certificates in accordance with the law. It was agreed that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and the board must continue to respect the rule of law. Therefore any orders of court must be complied with,” Mr Muhakanizi’s letter reads in part.
“By copy of this letter, I am duly informing Hon Ministers who are members of the Departed Asians Property custodian Board (DAPCB) and the Clerk to Parliament who has requested information to assist Members of Parliament carry out their legislative and oversight functions in this matter,” the letter adds.
The Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board was formed after the fall of Idi Amin to manage the properties that had been taken away from Asians who had left the country when he expelled them.
The board’s mandate was to enable those Asians who returned to the country to take back possession of their properties and manage those that were not repossessed by the original owners.
The board originally was supposed to wind up and properties of Asians that had not been reclaimed sold off, in the mid-90s but this is yet to happen and any new proposed date of winding up has led to massive corruption and a scramble for the properties, many of them in prime locations by public officials.
There have been several incidences of the board cancelling certificates of ownership it has handed to Asian families, a matter which can now only be decided by courts of law.