“The Government of Uganda does not owe the former Departed Asians Property Custodian Board (DAPCB) executive secretary, Mr Bernard Tumwesigire any money. All the monies owed to him were paid and evidence of payment can be presented before the committee.” This was a statement by the Finance minister and also the chair of the DAPCB Hon. Matia Kasaija while appearing before the Parliamentary subcommittee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that is currently looking into reports of irregular administration of properties of the departed Asians.
The Committee in its interface with the board, learnt that DAPCB had decided to make a new seal following the refusal by Mr Bernard Tumwesigire to hand over the original seal. Hon. Ibrahim Kasozi who chairs the sub-committee wondered how possible it was for two seals to exist concurrently. He raised the concern that in case the seal fell in the hands of corrupt officials, they could use it to endorse DAPCB fraudulently, thus causing financial loss to the Government. The committee therefore directed the CID Police to arrest Tumwesigire in order to recover the seal.
Mr Bernard Tumwesigire who was present in the meeting, in his defence informed the committee that he was appointed as the board’s executive secretary in 2009 and his contract was irregularly terminated in 2017. He admitted that he had never handed over officially and therefore he was still in possession of DAPCB seal and other important documents. He told the committee that the reason of his possession of government property was that board had never allowed him to hand over and that the Government owed him salary arrears amounting to UGX 1.37 billion.