Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, who was recently appointed Honorary Consul of Nepal to Uganda, is this Thursday expected to appear before the Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) to explain the mysterious acquisition of 32 properties, some of them previously belonging to departed Asians.
According to a trove of documents seen by ChimpReports, some of the 32 properties include Plot 43 Jinja Road, Kampala, ministries of ICT and Justice Buildings and Plot 26 Republican Street, Mbale, Plot 23 Jinja Road, Plot 24 Kampala Road, Plot 5 Colville Street, Plot 3 and 5 Bombo Road.
In one of the chilling records from lands registry, Gold Star Insurance, owned by Sudhir Ruparelia, acquired plot 43 Jinja Road in five minutes when it had also exchanged hands twice in the space of five minutes.
The said plot made entries three times in 10 minutes against the legally provided two entries in 24 hours.
The first entry for the said plot was made (transferred) to Mr. Abdul Ghani and Abdul Majid on May 16 1995 under REGD. 270550 at 3:30PM.
The second entry was made in the name of Abdul Gani, who became the administrator of the late Adbul Majid estate, under REGD. 270551 at 3:35PM.
The third entry was made in the name of Gold Star Insurance Company P.O Box 2397 Kampala under REGD. 270522 at 3:40PM.
Plot 43 Jinja Road has vast commercial buildings, between Bank of Africa headquarters and Nina Interiors, managed by Crane Management Services of Sudhir Ruparelia.
The revelations come at a time Sudhir is battling cases in the Commercial Court over the mismanagement of Crane Bank in which Shs 400bn on taxpayers’ money was invested to save it from collapse.
While Sudhir won round one of the Crane Bank case on technicalities, Bank of Uganda appealed the judgement, insisting Sudhir has to pay back the vast sums of money injected into the mismanaged financial institution.
Findings made by the Parliament Committee and petitions received on the same land indicate that letters of administration from Abdul Gani, who reportedly didn’t return to Uganda from United Kingdom in 1995, was forged.
“There was fraudulent acquisition of letters of administration of Abdul Majid by someone purported to be Abdul Gani (brother of Abdul Majid) who fraudulently sold the property to Gold Star Insurance Company in May 1995 and later transferred to Meera Investments Ltd on 11 February 2004,” said a petition to the committee.
Committee members and Land Ministry officials believe majority of the properties were acquired through dubious powers of attorneys.
In the case of Plot 43 Jinja Road, Abdul Gani only had only “repossessed” half share of the property but later “sold” it to Gold Star Insurance.
“There are no records that Abdul Gani returned to Uganda in 1995 to transact sales of Plot 43 Jinja road and neither did he have power to sale it since he only had a half share repossessed,” said a petition.
MPs held their tears on Tuesday listening to Ms. Androna Margaret Kabagenyi narrating her ordeal of how Sudhir team violently evicted her from a property she had occupied for years on Plot 26 Republican Street Mbale.
The property (building) which belonged to the departed Asians was irregularly repossessed on December 1 1995, after the official expiry of the closing date 1993, and was later leased to Sudhir’s Meera Investments.
“The repossession certificate No. 2651 was issued on 1/12/1995 after the official expiry of the closing date in 1993, as such it was an illegality,” said a petition from Kabagenyi.
Ms. Kabagenyi, now on wheel chair with amputated legs, said she developed serious illness after the horrible treatment during the eviction and she is always in and out of hospital.
Two circulars from the office of the Departed Asian Property Custodian Board (DAPCB) of the Ministry of Finance and the Auditor General indicate that Plot 26, Republican Street Mbale is yet to be repossessed or sold.
Kabagenyi furnished the committee with seven documents including letter of allocation from DAPCB of 1991 and circulars from the Ministry of Finance and Auditor General.
Sudhir has already failed to appear before the committee three times and today is said to be the last day or else the committee will invoke its powers, equivalent to that of the High Court, to order for his arrest.