Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has tasked businessman Sudhir Ruparelia to present evidence on how he acquired property belonging to the departed Asians.
Sudhir and his legal team together with Meera Investments on Tuesday appeared before the sub-committee of COSASE chaired by Ibrahim Kasozi. The committee is investigating the fraudulent repossession of the departed Asians properties who fled the country in 1972.
The committee tasked Sudhir to explain how he purchased 10 plots including; Plot 23 Jinja road, plot 24 Kampala road, plot 3 and 5 Bombo road, Plot 5 on Colville street and plot 26 on Republican street in Mbale plot 1, 4, 9,11 and 26 on Parliament Avenue.
The probe follows a petition to the committee by Androna Margaret Kabagenyi whose rented plot 26 on Republican street in Mbale was taken over by Sudhir.
Although Sudhir told the committee that he genuinely purchased the over 10 plots of prime land in Kampala and Mbale district, officials from the Departed Asian Custodian Board told the committee that some of the processes could have been flawed.
In some cases, the custodian board informed the committee that some of the owners that Sudhir mentions are non-existent in their records while in other instances, the process of repossession of the land purchased by Sudhir was not completed.
About plot 24 on Kampala road, Sudhir told the committee that he bought the property from Mohammad Alibhai, Mustapha Alibhai a family, Hussein Jamal among others and has all the documentation but the Executive Secretary of the Custodian Board led by George William Bizibu said the owners were unknown to them but Sudhir insisted that he bought the properties from those who re-possessed the properties.
In some cases, although Sudhir presented sale agreements defending the purchase of the property, the committee noted that only one person had signed the sales agreement.
Sudhir in his defence refused to own the document saying they are documents of the seller but Kasozi asked him to bring the documents supporting his claims saying he cannot buy the property without due diligence.
However, Bizibu said that they were not aware of such owners of the property of plot 24 Kampala road.