In February 2019, Kawempe South MP Mubarak Munyagwa took over the chairmanship of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-COSASE. It was a long awaited for takeover, after he attacked his predecessor Abdu Katuntu as having delivered nothing in his term apart from ’empty’ reports and media attention.
Katuntu’s headed committee had managed to force the road companies and its directors who had run away with public money, to return it. He also got URA on spot over individuals who had been “rewarded with a golden handshake” following the oil case in UK. Lastly, you cannot wish away the efforts that brought to the fore how badly managed our Central Bank was, which gave insight to some of the challenges bedeviling our economy.
Current chairperson Munyagwa however, despite having been a member of this committee, played down Katuntu’s leadership and promised a new era, which is slowly proving it was an “error” to appoint him.
Five months down the road, COSASE has failed to find its footing. It all seems lost, just finding nothing to do with its sitting time and they jumping from one thing to another.
First, Munywagwa wanted to undo the Bank of Uganda report done by the previous committee before Speaker Rebecca Kadaga intervened to save the tax payers money.
Now, it is emerging that Munyagwa wants to examine the activities of the Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board.
However, even before hearing anyone, the committee sounds like it has finalized its inquiries with allegations from his deputy Ibrahim Kasozi (Makindye East) individuals including businessmen Godfrey Kirumira, Mohamed Alibhai, Mumtaz Kassam and Sudhir Ruperalia, among others acquired some properties of departed Asians fraudulently.
Anyone familiar with the undertaking of Munyagwa, knows that he is a man on a mission. His first and second assignments seems to be targeting certain Ugandans, and just like day follows night, he is destined to fail.
In 1983, the Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board was put in charge of between 9,000 to 10,000 properties of Asians who were evicted from Uganda during President Iddi Amin’s era. By 2009, 1,676 properties had been either sold, repossessed, compensated while some 3,226 remain unsold and unclaimed.
Without complainants, Munyagwa believed a sub committee comprising Makindye East MP, Ibrahim Kasozi (chairman), Rubanda woman MP, Prossy Mbabazi, Samia Bugwe County MP, Gideon Onyango, Kyegegwa Woman MP, Stella Kiiza, Ruhinda county MP, Captain Donozia Kahonda and Kampala Central MP, Muhammad Nsereko, Iganga Municipality MP, Peter Mugema Twesigye Nathan Itungo ( Kashari South) and Jinja East MP, Paul Mwiru, would be busy enough to bring to light something.
Knowing how Uganda is run, and the actual people who possessed the properties left by Asians after Amin expelled them, it will not be too long before Munyagwa and Kasozi burn their fingers.
The Departed Asians’ Property Custodian Board is mandated by the Assets of Departed Asians Act, 1983 to take over and manage all assets transferred to it. It comprises finance minister, Matia Kasaija (chair), lands minister, Betty Amongi, Minister of State for Local Government, Jenipher Namuyangu, Minister of State for Industry and Cooperatives-Michael Kafabusa Werikhe, Gen.Caleb Akandwanaho also known as Salim Saleh, Farouq Lubega and the executive secretary, George William Bizibu.
We wait to see what the Kasozi chaired subcommittee will produce. Or can someone save us from impulsive Munyagwa and redeem the image of Cosase.
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