UGANDA, Jinja | Real Muloodi News | Several influential business people are accused by Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB) officials of conspiring with the local government to seize former Asians’ property in Jinja City.
Members of the custodian board charged employees from Mehta Group’s estate management division, Trans Africa Commerce Ltd., with destroying a building at Plot 20, Iganga Road, in Southern Division of Jinja City, without their permission.
Hirome Sabbehe, a member of the custodian board’s divesture committee, said that despite being aware that Patrick Wanume was the legally recognised tenant of plot 20, representatives of Trans Africa and evicted him late last month, and demolished a portion of the property.
Hoima Cotton Limited was the original owner of plot 20, according to Sabbehe, but after being driven out of Uganda in the 1970s, they never came back to claim their property, which was left in the care of the Ministry of Finance’s custodian board until 1993.
But according to him, Trans Africa representatives claimed possession of the house after observing its condition without providing the necessary documentation.
Wanume was also sued by Trans Africa for missing rent payments. However, he was able to get an interim injunction from the Jinja High Court establishing his ongoing stay at the same location, but he was denied entry by private security guards that had been stationed there.
Before deciding to allow Wanume to return to the house, Bukirwa visited the location and conducted separate interviews with local officials and representatives from Jinja City’s security circles. She also instructed Trans Africa to reimburse him for any damages he sustained as a result of the eviction process.
Trans Africa representatives declined to comment on the situation to the media.
Sabbehe claims that despite their apparent success on plot 20, the board has seen that land-grabbing gangs are covertly working with the police and the local government to forcibly remove tenants who are already residing there.
David Otabong, the commander of Kiira Central Police, said that incidents concerning DAPCB property are handled at the lands desk, but he would not provide any information, claiming that most of the inquiries were still in the initial stages.
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