New evidence before Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) indicates that the government of Uganda fully compensated undisclosed number of departed Indians properties claimants through the Indian government. However, this compensation, according to trusted sources, was for only Indians who became British citizens, and not other Asians affected by Idi Amin explusion.
The Cosase taskforce investigating the mess in the management of Asian properties by the Departed Asians Properties Custodian Board (DAPCB) this week obtained a confidential letter from Chief Justice Bart Katureebe, who in his official capacity as the then Attorney General and Minister of Justice in June 1997 wrote to the then Minister of State for Finance, the late Basoga Nsadhu explaining that the government of Uganda under the international law sent money to the Indian government to compensate Indians who lost their properties after being expelled by President Idi Amin.
“The Indian government had a duty to pass on the compensation to its nationals since it not only negotiated on their behalf but received on their behalf,” Katureebe at the time explained to who had sought legal opinion on Indian properties under the DAPCB.
He added that all those Indians whose compensation was paid to the Indian government had no further claim in Uganda and that those who received certificates of repossession when they had been compensated should have the certificates canceled as they would be getting double benefit.
“The Indians who claim that they did not get paid by their government when in fact they were listed for payment should be advised to contact their government,” he said then.
Now the special probe boss Ibrahim Kasozi has promised to leave no stone un-turned as investigations continue.
“As a result of political interference, properties were wrongfully allocated, repossessed and sold; purchase prices were reduced below the reserve prices without proper justification,” said Kasozi who also serves as Makindye East Member of Parliament.
The MPs also learnt that only Indian citizens were fully compensated through their government and not others.
Jim Mugunga, the Ministry of Finance spokesperson, told legislators that Finance Minister Matia Kasaija as the chairperson for the Custodian Board has since promised to investigate the issues and take action.