The Committee of Parliament on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-COSASE has grilled officials of the Custodian Board and the Mbale District Land board for the fraudulent allocation of departed Asians Properties whose former owners government had already compensated.
Some of the stolen properties were then resold to another set of owners while others were mortgaged to banks for loans, making their repossession by government even more complicated.
The Committee was at the Mbale district Headquarters on Wednesday investigating how the custodian properties were repossessed by the alleged former owners.
According to the Members of Parliament led by the Committee Vice Chairperson Ibrahim Kasozi, over 30 buildings in Mbale town which were fraudulently sold off to people without following the due process.
Some of the properties under probe include plots 5 and 28 Bunyole road which were handed to an Indian identified as Primali, plot 16 North Road given to a one Abasa Manafa but has conflicts with another Indian andPlot 14 Republic Street which was given to Muhammad Albayi.
Others are Plot 42 Republic Street which is said to have two different land titles but the custodian board only has one, Plot 36 Terrace Road who bona fide tenant was evicted and the property given to another person, Plot 6 Naboa Road which was taken over by the then Industrial Division Chairperson Mansa Musa when he allegedly connived with the District Land board and sold it the proprietor of Bam Shopping Center.
The committee members questioned how all these properties went into the hands of the people and yet the government had compensated the owners. They also wondered how the Mbale District Custodian Board involved itself in the illegal sale of the properties yet the law bars them from dealing in any property of the departed Indians which are under the Uganda Custodian Board which was put in Place by Act of Parliament.
Ibrahim Kasozi, the Vice Chairperson of the Committee MP for Makindye East said that most properties in Mbale for which government paid off the true former owners have been repossessed by other people which has made them summon the Members of the Land boards to explain the anomalies.
Kasozi says that the land boards have issued land titles on the buildings which people are using to mortgage them in banks which has caused losses to the government.
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George William Bizibu, the Chairperson of the Uganda Custodian Board says that repossession of the properties whose owners had been was done in error.
He said that the District Land board did not work in consultation with the Custodian Board when they were issuing land titles to the current occupants of the buildings which he said has caused the anomalies.
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The Committee has now summoned the Mbale and Soroti District Land Boards and the Custodian Board to appear before the same Committee in Parliament on the 29th of this month to explain the anomalies in the repossession of the properties which are in reality government properties.