The Police have said once its investigations into the alleged sale of some the Departed Asian Properties to some body members who are supposed to protect them could face charges of fraud and abuse of office.
According to a sources at Criminal Investigations Directorate who is under and Protection Police Unit, the Executive Secretary of the Departed Asian Property Custodian Board, Geogre Bizibu and other two board members plus a host of the previous body members evidence gathered so point to collusion within the board and other forces outside the board to enrich themselves.
Last week, a city law firm wrote to the Commandant of Land Protection Police Unit (LPPU) asking him to initiate investigations against over allegations of land grabbing at Ssisa Estate in Wakiso district.
The probe into Bizibu commenced after a complaint was brought against him on the land which has its owners through Ladha Kassam & Company Ltd, the complainant, says before former president Idi Amin expelled Asians in 1972; the company had a model farm of cotton, coffee, poultry and animals on the land.
The company alleges that in 1991 when it re-possessed the land, it was all smooth-sailing until recently when Mr Bizibu claimed 130 acres of the same land.
“Our client has learned that DAPCB through its Executive Secretary is fraudulently laying claim on our client’s land through a letter enclosed herewith,” reads a July 26 letter by the company lawyers, Lwere, Lwanyaga & Company Advocates, to LPPU.
Documents show the land was registered in the company name on July 4, 1955.
Documents including a certificate authorizing repossession dated November 21, 1991, signed by the then Finance Minister, Dr Crispus Kiyonga. The land was originally registered as Freehold Register Volume 3 Folio 15 Busiro Block 408 Plot 3 land at Sisa.
Meanwhile, police is also investigating Bizibu of allegedly holding the office without a valid contract since it expired sometime back.
“We want to establish when he was reappointed and whether the job was adverted because we are also aware that he was a campaigning agent for one of the politician in the Ministry of Finance. How did he end up at DAPCB? Said a police source on condition of anonymity because he isn’t authorized to speak to the press.
Police sources also say, the purported list of properties that was compiled by Bizibu could be an alleged ploy by some people to use it as a money making scheme.
Police further say they also intend to establish whether custodian board especially Mr Bizibu are allegedly trying to use underhand methods by debuting the current owners of properties so as to get compensated by government having failed to get through previously. Mr. Bizibu recently authored a report to Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) asking the legislator to investigate claims of double payments and irregular accusation of plots and building.
The Auditor General queried unpaid compensation claims of up to Shs1.7 billion which lacked supporting documents. Without the schedule and respective claim files supporting the compensation amounts in question, the Auditor General said: “I was therefore unable to confirm the authenticity of these claims.”
The departing Asians left behind properties which included businesses, stock and real estate. By law, under the Expropriated Properties Act, all properties that were left behind were vested in the government of Uganda under the authority and management of DAPCB.
Attempts by Eagle Online to get a comment from Mr. Bizibu were unsuccessful as he didn’t pick calls.