Attorney-General-William-Byaruhanga

 

 

A Kampala businessman with interests in real estate development, Hajj Abdul Kasai is cursing his quest to pass through President Yoweri Museveni in order to take possession of an Asian owned property on plot No.98-104, Nakivubo Road in Kampala.

On June 28, 2019, the Principal Private Secretary to Mr. Museveni, Molly Naawe Kamukama wrote to the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija that Hajj Kasai, the proprietor of Kanaaba Agencies Limited, had identified the said plot and wanted it be allocated to him, following a meeting with Museveni.

To push Kasai’s request forward, Minister Kasaija would write to the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga seeking his legal opinion on the said property located on one of Kampala’s busiest streets. The property is owned by Parkview Limited and Bharat Properties Limited.

In his reply to Kasaija, Byaruhanga has advised that Kasai cannot be allocated the property that was in April 1992 returned to two companies whose shareholders were expelled by the late President Idi Amin.

“It is… my opinion that the property that has been repossessed under the Expropriated Properties Act by issuance of a repossession certificate by the minister is not subject to allocation or interference by DAPCB and the Minister of Finance,” Byaruhanga opined on August 15, 2019,” he opined.

Like many other properties that belonged Asians expelled by Amin, the property that Kasai wants to claim was under DAPCB (Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board) until when on March 31, 1992 a one N.K Radia, purporting to act on Parkview Limited and Bharat Properties Limited and in possession of supporting documents, applied to the then DAPCB Executive Secretary to repossess the property on behalf of the two companies.

Under the Expropriated Properties Act, the then Minister of Finance, Jehoash Mayanja Nkangi in a letter dated April 21, 1992 informed Parkview Hotel and Bharat Properties Limited that they were free to repossess the property effective from the date of the letter, having issued the two companies with a repossession certificate as required by law.

The minister’s issuance of the certificate was based on the communication from the DAPCB Executive Secretary on April 16, 1992, stating that the DAPCB Task Force had on April 11, 1992 cleared the repossession, having gone through the laid-down procedure on repossession of such properties.

According to the related law, DAPCB or the Ministry of Finance has no powers to withdraw the repossession certificate given to Parkview Limited and Bharat Properties Limited and that is how Hajj Kasai losses for now.