UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | High Court Judge, Hon. Lady Justice Susan Abinyo, dismissed yet another appeal by businessman, Peter Kamya, and his Simbamanyo Estates Limited, to overturn the foreclosure of his properties by Equity Bank Uganda Limited.
This time court dismissed his application over his lawyers’ failure to present written affidavits to represent the businessman, as is required by law.
Simbamanyo Estates had used its prime properties as guarantees against its loans from Equity Bank Ltd in November 2017. They could not fulfil their loan obligations, and Equity Bank moved to recover outstanding debt worth $10.8 million (about Shs40 billion).
Equity put two properties up for sale to recover their money. The properties were Simbamanyo House, a building on Lumumba Avenue, and Afrique Suites, a four-star hotel at Mutongo Hill. The transaction occurred in October 2020 after the bank issued a notice to Simbamanyo Estates demanding arrears of US$398,362.33.
In an effort to halt the sale of their properties, Simbamanyo Estates sued Equity Bank Uganda, and its sister company in Kenya, claiming that the outstanding loan amount was incorrect. However, the court denied the appeal. Subsequently, the bank sold the properties the same day.
Simbamanyo House was sold to Meera Investments Limited of Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, while Afrique Suites was sold to Luwaluwa Investments.
In February 2021, Simbamanyo appealed to the court again to overturn the sale of Simbamanyo House to Meera Investments. However, the Registrar Commercial Court dismissed the claims.
Justice Susan Abinyo, in her ruling delivered on June 30, concluded that Simbamanyo Estates did not present to court valid justifications for the court’s consideration for the halting of the sale of the property. She stated that not only would the halting of the sale inconvenience all those involved in the auction, but it would also violate the bank’s right to be heard. She explained:
“In the result, this appeal is incompetent and not proper before this honorable court, as the defective affidavits render the appeal incompetent. Appeal number 3 of 2021 for setting aside the orders of the registrar are dismissed,” ruled Justice Abinyo. “Accordingly, the preliminary objection on a point of law by the respondents is upheld,” she added.
The court further ordered Simbamanyo to pay legal costs to Equity, Meera Investments Ltd, Luwaluwa Investments Ltd, and the Commissioner of Land Registration.
Equity Bank lawyers will now have to file a bill of fees to be approved by the court.
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