UGANDA, Entebbe | Real Muloodi News | After years of haggling over properties owned by British-Asians who lost property in 1972 when Idi Amin forced them out of Uganda, a Committee of Parliament released their findings of a two-year investigation.
Following a meeting with the Uganda-India diaspora members on June 12, 2021, President Yoweri Museveni declared that any fraudulent attempt to acquire Indian property under the Departed Asian Property Custodian Board would meet severe consequences.
President Museveni attended the meeting, led by Ambassador Dr Mumtaz Kassam, at the State House in Entebbe. The meeting included investors and prominent landlords from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and India seeking to repossess their lost properties after their families’ expulsion in 1972.
The President said:
“All those parasites… why are they fighting for Indian properties? Why are they not developing their own property? When returning Indian properties, we had a big debate in Parliament. These are 4000 properties, there are over one million new properties owned by Ugandans, why fight over Indian property?”
The Expulsion of Ugandan Asians
During President Idi Amin’s reign in 1972, he gave Asians 90 days to leave the country. Estimates indicate there were 80,000 Indians in Uganda at the time.
Many of the expellees were given refuge by the United Kingdom, Canada, United States, India, Kenya and Pakistan. But, in many cases, the Asians left behind property, businesses, stock and real estate.
A push by some expelled Asians to recover their lost property is ongoing.
The President further explained: “The story is simple! These were either Ugandans or non-Ugandans but Asians living in Uganda and owning property. They were expelled and properties were taken by Idi Amin. We said all those get back their property. Citizenship doesn’t change anything, it is the ownership that matters.”
The Issues with Repossession
In May 2020, the Parliament learned that the process of managing properties of expelled Asians in 1972 was fraught with fraud.
A report submitted by the Subcommittee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) highlighted the discrepancies in the process of repossession of properties owned by the Asians.
Along with the Departed Asians Property Board, the COSASE has been a front-runner in helping Asians reclaim their properties.
The government has given a time limit to the affected Asians to claim their property. In addition, the President spoke passionately about these issues.
The President clarified: “Our Movement Government has no interest in giving to anybody property that was owned by our Indian people. You must have heard that I have been re-elected President. We are going to resolve this issue,” he said.
He directed for written reports by the diaspora regarding all their property to be presented to his office.
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