Uganda: CID hold Tanzanian-Asian over 60 properties in Mbale

While appearing before the sub-committee chaired by Mr Ibrahim Kasozi (Makindye East, FDC) on Friday, Mr Patel was put on oath after the MPs expressed misgivings with his responses over his involvement in expropriated properties, especially in Mbale Town. File photo 

By MISAIRI THEMBO KAHUNGU

Tanzanian-Asian Mr Paramal Patel, who claims to manage more than 60 properties of departed Asians in eastern Uganda, has been barred from travelling out of Uganda by a select sub-committee of Parliament.

Mr Patel will only regain his rights to travel abroad after the select sub-committee of the parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) concludes inquiries into his ownership of the properties.

While appearing before the sub-committee chaired by Mr Ibrahim Kasozi (Makindye East, FDC) on Friday, Mr Patel was put on oath after the MPs expressed misgivings with his responses over his involvement in expropriated properties, especially in Mbale Town.

Mr Patel is one of private individuals being investigated over dubious acquisition of properties, mostly buildings, that should have reverted to the government after their former owners were either compensated by the Idi Amin regime in 1976 or they never returned to repossess them by 1993.

Mr Patel, who is waving powers of attorney that he claims were issued to him by owners who never returned, told the MPs that his only involvement was to repossess on their behalf, manage, collect rent and remit the money to Canada and United Kingdom.

“I have powers of attorney to manage the properties and I collect rent. My work is to remit the money to the owners wherever they are,” Mr Patel explained. But the MPs tasked him to produce evidence of remittances from the rent he collects from the more than 60 properties in the Elgon Sub-region and filed tax returns on those incomes. Mr Patel had no answers to these queries.

Mr Patel, who has been managing properties that belonged to Budaka Ginners, a company run by Asians before their expulsion in 1972, was deemed not convincing in his explanation, something that led to his detention.

He also failed to avail the committee with a company resolution by the directors of Budaka Ginners, which granted him powers to manage their properties.

“We have decided to hand Mr Patel to our CIDs (Crime Intelligence and Crime Investigations officers) of Parliament to record a statement so that police retrieve all evidence concerning the properties he has been owning illegally,” Mr Kasozi said.

“We have also ordered Mr Patel to deposit his passport with the committee so that he is not able to leave the country until we are done with these investigations. Some people who have issues in this country have been running away,” he added.

The Departed Asians Properties’ Custodian Board (DAPCB) executive Secretary, Mr George William Bizibu, invited all people who bought departed Asian properties from individuals other than the real owners to visit his office for verification of the information on the documents to avoid losing them if they were repossessed fraudulently.

mkthembo@ug.nationmedia.com

Credit to Daily Monitor.

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