The Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) has confirmed that top bosses of the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB) including executive secretary Mr George Bizibu are being investigated on orders of President Yoweri Museveni over a Shs1.6bn fraudulent property deal.
Reports indicate that Bizibu took the money from Margaret Ssekidde the proprietor of Seroma Ltd and failed to deliver the property.
Ssekidde reported the matter to President Museveni, who directed an investigation to be carried out into the running of DAPCB affairs.
CID spokesman Charles Twine confirmed the development adding that the investigation is being carried out alongside the State House Anti Corruption Unit headed by Lt. Col Edith Nakalema.
DAPCB has been under the spotlight since 2019 when the Auditor General unearthed rot in the organisation.
In his special report to Parliament, AG John Muwanga revealed that the board misused public funds through fictitious compensations of up to Shs1.7 billion, double allocation of properties, forged land titles, sale of assets without proper valuation and missing documents, among other illegalities.
These irregularities were blamed on ‘a busy board’ [that includes government officials such as ministers], which failed to monitor the property transactions.
Muwanga said that the Board chaired by Finance minister Matia Kasaija failed to maintain proper books of accounts and annual financial statements were not prepared. As a result, it took his office over 15 years to audit the Board activities.
According to Daily Monitor, Kasaija claimed that unspecified amount of money was paid to undisclosed claimants for properties, which were sold by the Custodian Board prior to receiving repossession claims by original owners.
However, without the schedule and respective claim files supporting the compensation amounts in question, the Auditor General said: “I was therefore unable to confirm the authenticity of these claims.”
The AG also inspected 139 properties in Jinja Municipality and found that the Board didn’t appoint qualified professionals to value the properties. There was also no complete list of tenants and properties.
The AG further discovered cases of duplicated allocation of properties, abandoned properties, irregular disposal of properties, arrears of ground rent and unscrupulous property managers. He said these irregularities resulted in loss of government properties.