Custodian Board secreatry George William Bizibu (right) and his chief accountant were arrested for solicitng bribe

A family of four has dragged Workers’ MP Abdulhu Byakatonda and a senior Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) official, Micdad Muganga to court seeking payment of Shs 2 billion resulting from a botched land deal.

Court documents indicate that family members paid the money for the land through the Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board (DAPCB) employees but later found out it was registered in other people’s name.

Asuman Nkambwe, his sons Meddie Nkambwe and Mansul Mbazira, and his wife Jane Nambooze sued the two and DAPCB in the Land Division of the High Court in Kampala.

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Appearing before the deputy registrar Janeva Natukunda, the lawyer representing the family, Ramadhan Waiswa, said he served Byakatonda, who responded to the allegations but efforts to serve Muganga were futile. This prompted Waiswa to serve Muganga through a local newspaper after the court allowed his application for substituted service.

The family want court to compel Byakatonda, Muganga and DAPCB to give them the properties free of any encumbrance or third party claims.

The family want the trio to refund money they paid for the plots of land amounting to SHs 2 billion with interest at 21% from the time they received the money until payment in full.

They also demand that the trio pay them Shs1.5b in aggravated damages for the pain, loss and suffering caused to them and an interest of 21% plus costs of the suit.

Court documents indicate that in 2019, the family were informed by their then lawyer Nathan Mpenje that the DAPCB had three plots available for sale after carrying out due diligence.

The properties are Plot 34 LRV 146 Folio 10 on Rashid Khamis Road, Plot 23v LRV 117 Folio 8 and 37 Martin Road LRV 116 Folio 17.

According to court documents, the properties were developed with buildings and that although they had been expropriated during the 1970s and vested in the government, their former bosses had not legally repossessed them within the time limited by the law.

Consequently, the family, on July 31, 2019, applied to the DAPCB divestiture committee for allocation and purchase of the plots. The family says they mainly dealt with Byakatonda, the then board chairperson and Muganga the board’s agent.

“In January 2021, the family sought vacant possession from the occupants of the plots, but they did not have knowledge of any transactions,” court documents read.

They then demanded vacant possession of the plots in a series of meetings held with the custodian board members in January last year to no avail.

The family claim that they were informed by Byakatonda and Muganga that the needed to pay fresh fees to be able to receive the formal offer and they paid another Shs150m, the money they borrowed from one John Kinaalwa.

The family say they later leant that Plot 23 Martin Rd is being claimed in court by a one Nanji Valji’s administrator who purports that the plot is part of their estate and they have a repossession certificate issued by the finance minister in 1995.

They also discovered that plot 34 Rashid Khamis Rd has a title and John Katonya is the registered proprietor while plot 37 martin Rd is not available.

In April last year, the DAPCB offered plot 18 LRV 188 Folio 25 Benedicto Kiwanuka Rd to Asuman Nkambwe in exchange for plot 37 martin Rd which they claimed was no longer available for purchase.

Last week, the Executive Secretary of Departed Asian Custodian Board George William Bizibu and his chief accountant were arrested for extorting money based on forged documents and asking of bribe from various people to allocate them property.

“@AntiGraft_SH in liaison with @PoliceUg have arrested both the Executive Secretary & the Accountant of the departed Asian property custodian board for falsely obtaining money from various persons while purporting to allocate them properties. #ExposeTheCorrupt,” State House Anti-corruption unit tweeted.

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