Asian

Neverending wrangles over Asian properties in Jinja city send wrong signals to investors, residents say 

(Last Updated On: 19 December 2022)

Leaders and residents of Jinja city have expressed concern at thever-increasingng cases of wrangles surrounding properties belonging to the Asians who were chased in 1972 by the then government under President Iddi Amin Dada.

More than 50 cases are in the courts of law. A catalogue of people including some tenants and individuals are working with lawyers to claim ownership over buildings.

In most cases, the parties involved include the Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB) officials who sometimes give multiple temporary allocations.

The Board has also been accused of issuing contradictory statements on some buildings which lead to more controversy, drawing protracted legal battles in the courts.

For instance, the tenants do not pay revenue to the council or the true landlords while the structural state of buildings also continues to deteriorate with falling ceilings, and dysfunctional water and electricity systems, among others.

Some of the dilapidated structures under dispute are plots 1C, 10, 2and 0, on Iganga Road, Plot 11 and 58 on Main Street, and 58 Lubas Road, Plot 11-19 Mvule Crescent (Muslim Club), among others.

The latest which is now dominating debates on local radio stations and social media platforms is the once beautiful multibillion storied building on Plot 10, Iganga Road.

The facility now lies in ruins. It is occupied by hecklers who sub sub-rent get money but the real owners do not get a penny.

Most of the people we talked to are bitter and described a retrogressive and outdated mentality of fighting over properties that do not belong to them.

Uganda’s Deputy Head of Mission in Qatar, Hajji Mohammed Beswari Kezaala is appealing to the indigenous people to get off the endless fights and work hard to get their own.

Kezaala, a former mayor, refers to some indigenous people who continue to cling to the houses built in the 1930s, and 1950s as “lazy” and says it’s wrong to drain the rightful owners from claiming and redeveloping their properties.

“…if you know either you or your grandparents did not ferry even a trip of sand or brick to build those properties, act mature and find other things to do than fighting over what is not yours…,” Kezaala implored.

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Another resident, Geoffrey Kabi who speaks on behalf of some Asians describes as hooligans some residents who have turned these buildings into their ATM by using the court to frustrate the owners.

“…I am sure within a short time these greedy fellows will come to their normal senses and give up on Asian buildings whose owners sacrificed to establish these structures…,” Kabi remarked.

At the center of these conflicts is the DAPCB whose officials at times fail to appear in courts or issue contradictory letters which end up causing more confusion among the stakeholders.

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