Uganda: Who’s Stealing The Rent?

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One property registered to the Uganda government, is located at 30 Ingram Avenue; there has never been any money submitted to the Treasury of Uganda, although it is believed to earn $240,000 annually.

Africa News Update

A group of Uganda members of parliament has come to London to investigate government-owned properties whose income may have been diverted into individual bank accounts.

One member of the group in an interview says even though some of the properties generate revenue, none of the money goes to the East African country’s treasury; one member of parliament says the best solution is to hold a hearing in parliament and call Uganda’s past high commissioners to the U.K. to testify; high commissioners are equivalent to ambassadors.

One property registered to the government, is located at 30 Ingram Avenue; its proprietor is the Republic of Uganda and its Title No. MX287092, with its date of acquisition April 6, 1971.

Yet, since 1986, there has never been any money submitted to the Treasury of Uganda, although it is believed to earn $240,000 annually. Some of the properties are under an entity; Uganda Property Holdings Ltd.

“We came to find out the existence of several  properties belonging to the government of Uganda, but some individuals were illusive non cooperative,” says MP (MP for Budadiri West), Nathan Nandala Mafabi, at Express Holiday Inn, North Acton-London; he is Chairman Public Accounts Committee and Shadow Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

In an appeal to members of the public and Ugandans living in London, Nandala, adds, “We also call upon individuals to come-out,” and help his team with their investigations, with any information to “rescue the properties.”

The five lawmakers who traveled from the East African country belong to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in parliament and also include: Ssebuliba Richard Mutumba (MP for Kawempe South), Ronald Reagan Okumu (MP Aswa County), Lt. Saleh Kamba (MP for Kibuku), and Peter Mutuluza (MP for Mawokota North). They spent the last seven days meeting with some illusive occupiers of Uganda properties in the UK.

Kamba (MP for Kibuku) and Mutuluza (MP for Mawokota North) are from the ruling NRM party.

Additional to establishing whether the properties exist, the group wanted to know how these properties are managed; the value of the properties; and, what, if at all, income it generated for the Ugandan Treasury.

Nandala Mafabi recommends a hearing be held before the committee in parliament, for a full accounting. “Our recommendations are that all the former High Commissioners must appear before the committee, Uganda Property Holdings must also appear before the committee.”

According to a reliable source most of the properties benefit big wigs in the government and their income generation remains a mystery.

Other holdings under scrutiny include 189 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8ZD whose proprietor is the Republic of Uganda. It is said to have been registered on August 21, 1975, with Title No. 49881, at City of Westminster.

It has been established that this property was once a subject of charge in favor of Lloyds Bank Plc. Being leased by Edgegrange Properties Ltd. since July 29, 1996, it had also been condemned by local authorities, who offered to renovate it and occupy rent-free for a period. Property income generation started May 2005, but not money has been submitted into Uganda’s Treasury. This property currently has tenants, offices and a very huge restaurant. All the money is believed to be going into some individuals’ private bank accounts.

Another Property under scrutiny is at 7 Deacons Rise, Finchley, N2 0BF. The proprietor is Uganda Property Holdings Ltd., with Title No. NGL 311332. There is also property at 48 Gainsbourgh Garden, Hendon, NW11 9BL, with Uganda Property Holdings and Title No. NGL9634; 35 Harman Drive, NW2 2ED, with proprietor Uganda Property Holdings and Title No. MX389783.

One property is believed to have once housed members of External Security Operation (ESO), Uganda’s spy organization.

Investigative reporter Miwambo writes for The Black Star News from London.

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