Kampala — Some MPs on the taskforce investigating alleged dubious acquisition and repossession of the departed Asians' properties have received 78 petitions in Canada, alleging fraudulent acts concerning the current occupation or control of at least 106 properties in Uganda.
The taskforce of the parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises, which has been carrying out investigations since July, left for Canada and UK last week on a fact-finding trip about the properties.
The two five-member teams each accompanied by a top official from the Departed Asians Properties' Custodian Board (DAPCB) was sanctioned by the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, after most witnesses in Kampala claimed they were managing the properties on behalf of the original proprietors, who did not return to the country after the 1972 expulsion.
Mr Ibrahim Kasozi, the Makindye East MP, who chairs the taskforce, said the 78 petitions were received by the team during the public hearings in the Canadian capital Toronto last week.
"The petitions are very many but we only received 78 during our time in Toronto. We have instructed the rest of the departed Asians who have any complaints in Toronto to send them to the Clerk to the Committee via email because we needed to travel to Vancouver where many people are ready to appear," Mr Kasozi said by telephone from Canada.He declined to reveal particulars in the petitions.
He said the details will be reserved for the committee report after analysis of the evidence in the petitions and what the people managing the properties in Uganda will have adduced.
However, sources within the team said some new claims have come up regarding the properties which were never included in the whistleblower's petition to Parliament.
The sources said some of the properties whose original proprietors denied ever issuing powers of attorney to anyone to manage them on their behalf include Plot 135 and 141 on Mbuya Hill and Plots 66 and 63 on Ismail Road in Mbuya, Kampala.
Our sources did not reveal the particulars of the original owners or the current occupants of the properties because of what they called "preempting the report".
However, some of the video footage leaked shows unnamed witnesses implicating Mr Muhamad Allibhai, the chairman of the Association of Expropriated Properties Owners Limited in Uganda. Mr Allibhai declined to comment on the claims, saying he needed to crosscheck his management documents after a meeting.