But along the way, top senior officials in the foreign affairs ministry together with the envoy allegedly connived and acquired the property after grossly inflating its price.
According to Redpepper newspaper, the Equatorial Guinea government had advanced $2 million (About Shs7 billion) for this purpose. However, the house ended up costing between $1.7 million.
As the deal sweetened, one of the officials in the office of the Chief of Protocol is said to have illicitly obtained two hundred fifty thousand United States Dollars ($250,000) in the transaction.
We’ve further learnt that the officials were shown a better house with 6 bedrooms, stand-alone offices, entertainment area with swimming pool on hill lane and it was costing Shs7 billion. The property which sits on a full acre is located in the diplomatic zone next to the residences of the USA, Iran, Rwanda, and Libya.
Unfortunately, they settled for the one that sits on 30 decimals. The property in question was bought by businessman Karim Hirji two years ago at $700,000 (over Shs2.5 billion).
According to documents, the property in question was sold to Equatorial Guinea on 5th February 2021 but the ministry of Foreign Affairs approved the deal on 23rd February which is against the Diplomatic and Consular Property Conventions Act.
Meanwhile, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has also written to the concerned officials to avail them of all information related to the transaction.
Whereas the property was sold at $1.7 million, real estate agents say the property’s (in 30 decimals) value is around $900, 000 (over Shs3.3 billion), which means the Central African country lost over $800,000 (approximately Shs2.9 billion)
Equatorial Guinea has also asked for a full report and the official who handled the transaction on their behalf has also been recalled. Officials at Foreign Affairs are also on spot for issuing a diplomatic letter allowing some officials in the transaction to take cash through Entebbe Airport.
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