Uganda: Kasaija to Explain Status of Uganda's Assets in Kenya

26 November 2019

The Minister of Finance, Mr Matia Kasaija, is expected to present to Parliament a detailed status report of Uganda's assets in Kenya.

The comes amid fears by a section of lawmakers that several of the assets managed by Uganda Property Holding Ltd, risk being taken over by the Kenyan government.

The properties are in Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu. Those in question include a chain of warehouses, leased buildings and land.

Parliament, on November 14, rejected a statement by Cabinet calling for celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the East African Community, and vowed to boycott the celebrations slated for November 30 unless government explains the status of the Uganda's assets in Kenya and Uganda's relationship with sister states in the regional bloc. Both statement are expected today.

Daily Monitor has also obtained a copy of the statement, which government claims unfettered ownership of its property in Kenya and elsewhere.

The statement by Mr Kasaija indicated that in 1998, government incorporated the Uganda Property Holding Ltd to manage all real estate properties abroad belonging to the government of Uganda. The shareholders of the company are the Minister of Finance, Planning on Economic Development and the Minister of State for Finance in-charge of Privatisation and Investment, in their official capacity and not as individuals.

Mr Kasaija said the company was given 22 properties in Mombasa, Kenya; four residential houses in London, two warehouse complexes in Uganda (Nalukolongo and Tororo) and silos in Masese in Jinja.

"The company has since acquired land in Uganda and another in Mombasa plus developing the existing properties," reads Mr Kasaija's statement.

Today the company owns 23 properties in Kenya which include 11 warehouses, a carport, two office blocks, three commercial blocks and four residential houses as well as two yards.

Custody

All titles are in government custody. "Save for five properties which are left with six to seven years [on the lease period], all the other properties have more than 20 years of their lease term," the minister stated further.

The minister also stressed that properties under the Uganda Property Holding Ltd should be distinguished from those under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The foreign-based properties that UPHL took over did not, however, include those already under custody and oversight of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and those properties to-date remain under the custody and oversight of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," writes Mr Kasaija.

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