Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Departed Asians Properties’ Custodian Board has up to a week to produce documents relating to 300 Asian properties owned by businessman, Praful Chandra Patel.
The subcommittee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises-COSASE issued the orders when Praful appeared together with his lawyer, Paul Ssebunya to provide answers on the properties that appear against his name in the Custodian Board registry.
The committee is probing the sale of the departed Asian properties. In March, Praful told MPs that he had picked repossession certificates for at least 39 of the 50 properties but could not divulge details regarding the original owners of the properties.
Although Praful supplied the committee with information of Plot 52 Kira road in Jinja, Plot 32 Madvan road in Jinja, Plot 3 Martin road in Jinja, Plot 64 Oboja road and Plot 7 Oboja road, the committee members were concerned that only one of the five proprietors signed general powers of attorney for all the properties.
The committee only cleared plot 66 Oboja road in Jinja saying it didn’t have any query. The committee tasked the Departed Asians Properties’ Custodian Board to present the documents of the 300 properties clearly indicating their ownership, process of acquisition and how they ended up under Praful’s control.
“The condition to the Custodian Board is that you photocopy the files of each property so that we handle everything on July 14. Praful has told us he has powers of Attorney on some properties and others he doesn’t, so we should look at all this” Ibrahim Kasozi, the Commission chairperson noted.
He asked Praful to return with all the documents proving that he was granted powers of attorney by the original proprietors of the properties in question. His lawyer, Ssebunya told the committee his client has repossession certificates and powers of attorney issued to him by all the five proprietors of the properties.
He also said his client didn’t repossess all the properties as an individual because others were repossessed under the auspices of the Indian Association. MPs asked Praful to present management contracts, evidence of remittance of rent to the owners and the tax clearance certificate.
Praful is the chairperson of Ladel village in Nakasero II in the Central Division in Kampala. He was also the founding chairperson of the Indian Association in Uganda that was established in 1992. He also led the Association of Expropriated Properties Owners.