Custodian board officials arrested over Shs2b fraudulent deals

State House Ant-Corruption unit on June 8, 2022 arrested both the  Executive Secretary and the Accountant of the departed Asian property custodian board for allegedly falsely obtaining money from various persons while purporting to allocate them properties. PHOTO/ COURTESY 

The State House anti- corruption Unit has arrested the executive secretary of the Deported Asian Property Custodian Board  (DAPCB ) and his accountant for falsely obtaining money over 600 million  from various persons while purporting to allocate them properties.

According to the official tweet released by the State House anti-corruption unit yesterday, the Executive director Mr George William Bizibu and his unnamed accountant were found to be defrauding people by issuing false allocation letters and receipts after extorting huge sums of money. 

“State House Anti-corruption Unit in liaison with Uganda Police have arrested the executive secretary and the accountant of the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board for falsely obtaining money from various persons while purporting to allocate them properties,” the tweet reads in part.     

When contacted Mr Sandor Walunsimbi, the head of communications at State House Anti-corruption Unit yesterday, he confirmed the arrest of the duo and reiterated that investigations into the matter began last week when they received a complaint from one woman (only identified as Ms Becky) who works with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and others he didn’t reveal.

“So far we have three complainants who have brought cases against the suspects. They are all accusing the suspects for defrauding them of huge amounts of money (over Shs 2 billion). We have the suspects in police custody as investigations into the matter continues,” Mr Walusimbi said.

 Mr Henry Mayoga, one of the complainants told this reporter last evening that the executive secretary of the Departed Asian Property Custodian Board Mr George William Bizibu and unnamed accountant defrauded him of over Shs650 million.

Mr Mayoga told this newspaper that he first reported his case to central police station Kampala in 2019 but he was not helped instead the policemen he didn’t name told him that he would not manage Mr Bizibu.

“The executive secretary works through an agency, it’s the agency that contacts you telling you that there are properties this way, the agency tells you to fill an application and they tell you that you have been given the land offer, they then tell you to write an acceptance letter and tell you to wait for property valuation,” Mr Mayoga said.

He reiterated that after the so-called valuation, the agency people tell you to bank the money to the account that is in the Bank of Uganda.

Mayoga told State House Anti-Corruption Unit team that he first paid Shs640 million to the Bank of Uganda and also his wife paid another amount of money. The team is verifying this information as part of the investigation.

In another case, the family of the late Tajdin Alidina Valimahomed who are the registered proprietors of LRV 558 folio 2 plot 5 Mackenzie vale land at Kololo, a Kampala suburb, have accused Mr Bizibu of selling their land to other individuals.

This publicationunderstands that the family, through their lawyer Kalenge, Bwanika, Kisubi and Company Advocates  petitioned the President on February 8, and named DAPCB boss in what they called “fraudulent” dealings.   They wanted the President to intervene and condemn the grabbing of their land. The family copied the petition to Anti-Corruption Unit and the Inspector General of Government (IGG).     

“On 27th August 2021, the executive director (sic) of DAPCB purportedly wrote to the commissioner land registration indicating that the property had been sold to Mr Geofrey Baguma under the expropriated properties Act, 1982…. On the same day, the executive director of DAPCB drafted an application for the special title for the suit property and lodged it in the office of commissioner land registration on 30th August 2021,” the petitioned titled “fraudulent dealings in the land comprised in LRV 558 Folio 2 Plot 5 Mackenzia vale at Kololo” reads in part.

State House Anti-Corruption Unit Mr Bizibu and the accountant were by yesterday being held at KCCA detention facility as investigations continue.

DAPCB was formed to handle the process of Asians who were expelled during Idi Amin’s regime to have their properties returned to them.

However, the board has been mired in several Corruption allegations including not handing over properties to the rightful owners and allocation of the same properties to multiple persons.

In 2019, selected MPs on the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (Cosase) probed how hundreds of properties including houses and land that were compensated by government after their owners decided not to return for repossession.

Among the top government officials investigated included the then Attorney General William Byaruhanga, who the MPs wanted to explain how already compensated properties landed in hands of individuals, Lands Minister Betty Amongi for allegedly trying to sale property along Lugogo by-pass;  Maj Gen (Rtd) Kasirye Gwanga (the late) among others.

During the interface with the MPs, Mr Bizibu who has been at the helm of the DAPCB for about two years said the board did not have information on the current ownership of several plots despite the records indicating that they were compensated by the government.