By Ivan Mwine
Ugandans have overwhelmingly applauded President Yoweri Museveni’s action for intervening in the fraudulent sale of the Simbamanyo Properties. Except of course for haters, and some elements in the media who have been paid to run a smear campaign.
The proprietors of Simbamanyo House, Arc Peter Kamya and his wife Dr. Margaret Muganwa Kamya, ran to President Yoweri Museveni after the Mafia had frustrated them for close to a year by influencing element in the courts to evade justice through underhand methods used to illegally and fraudulently grab their properties.
In a letter dated September 3rd, 2021, President Museveni, stated thus: “Mr. Peter Kamya and Dr. Margaret Muganwa have appealed for my intervention in the matters regarding the sale of Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites Hotel by Equity Bank.
They state that whereas the Bank of Uganda directed that there should be no foreclosure of mortgaged properties by banks during the COVID – 19 pandemic, Equity Bank went ahead and sold their properties at very low prices during that time and that the mortgagor had even offered to get their own buyers but all their attempts were frustrated.
“This is therefore to direct you that you expeditiously investigate the matter and report back within one week.” Said the letter from the president.
In an another missive to the Attorney General President Museveni stated that; “Peter Kamya and Dr. Margaret Muganwa Kamya have appealed to me seeking my intervention in the alleged illegal sale of their properties by Equity Bank. They state that their properties were sold when there were cases pending in court and without a court order. This is to direct that you urgently investigate the matter and render a legal opinion within one week.”
Regrettably, the Mafia and those in their pockets are trying to down play this directive by claiming that it is too late and that in any case the President has no power to intervene. They are also posting such misleading/twisted narratives that while the Simbamanyo proprietors continued to receive rent from the Ministry of Gender, they refused and or neglected to service their loan with Equity Bank.
We have therefore reached out to Kamya for his comments on this allegation of which he retorted; “This is again another distortion of the facts. By the time Simbamanyo stopped paying Equity Bank they had been cheated close to US$1.5 million (UGX 5.5billion) through unlawful debiting of his loan account with fabricated and unexplained interest charges, by Equity Bank. And that is one of the reasons Simbamanyo sued Equity bank in (HCCS 198 of 2020 for false accounting.”
In this suit Equity bank, as the 1st Defendant, submitted to the jurisdiction of the Court to adjudicate and determine any claims to payment under the credit facility.
However, in order to undermine this court process Equity Bank went ahead and advertised the sale of the suit properties. And threatened to sell them and in the process succeeded in diverting the court’s attention from the main suit. Explains why Simbamanyo was embroiled in all these Miscellaneous Applications in an attempt to save its properties.
The President, also wanted to know if Equity Bank had indeed flawed the laws in selling their properties. What Elements in the media are not aware of and because they have not studied the law is that the relationship between a bank and customer is one of close proximity based on trust and confidence and premised on a duty of care and mutual benefit. As such, there are common rules to be applied to safeguard the interests of both parties in this relationship. The right of the mortgagee to sell the mortgaged property is not absolute; it is caveated by the duty to exercise care. In this case the mortgagee must not act in secret and should also obtain the best price and act in good faith.
Furthermore, Public auction of the property should have been competitive and more transparent and if a sale by private treaty is used, the best price and involvement of the mortgagor is preferable, especially access to information, these all stipulated by the law.
This move by Museveni, in his letter to Mutebile, has been welcomed by very many patriotic Ugandans, who have hailed President Museveni for coming out to also shield local investors like Kamya from commercial banks that are becoming exploitative.
Many Ugandans who are closely following this matter have actually called upon President Museveni to intervene in other cases similar to that of Simbamanyo, because there are very many commercial banks that lend money to local investors with intent to impoverish them instead of helping them expand their businesses.
Worse still is the fact that several Ugandans have lost their properties which they mortgaged to commercial banks but because of the economic challenges that were brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them have found challenges in servicing their loans’ hence falling prey to Mafia grabbing. Mr. Kamya sought the intervention of President Museveni after his efforts to seek justice through courts of law failed because he was frustrated by the Mafia that had taken over the failed the systems, this through a compromised judicial process, bribing land officers to remove caveats, etc. for instance, Equity bank in collusion with officers in the land office and others, carried out a rush and speedy transfer of the suit properties in a period of 12 (twelve) minutes to the purported buyers with the knowledge and intention of frustrating Simbamanyo HCCS No 198 of 2020 and the appeal against the High Court orders of the 7th September 2020
Kamya also argues that Equity Bank erred by removing the caveats he had put on his properties when the matter was still in court without consulting him and worse still, evicting him from Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites without a court order and in the process causing him considerable loss of moveable property and equipment which was not part of the purported sale.
As the Chief Executive Officer (C.E.O) of the Country and as the Fountain of Power, the President Museveni has the prerogative to intervene in any matter that is being failed whether in court or not and when it involves a local investor like Kamya, it was imperative that he called it out, because that is what the Mafia didn’t want.
Here is what some concerned Ugandans had to say about President Museveni’s intervention into the Equity Bank Vs Simbamanyo Estates saga;
Yusuf Mutembeya, who is based in Sweden, said:
“Good evening! Concerning Eng. Peter Kamya’s issue with Sudhir. For us who have known Eng. Peter Kamya long before the NRM came to power, we feel deeply hurt that his hard earned wealth or properties could just be easily swindled by Sudir through hooks and crooks!”
Mutembeya added that; “Just for purposes of a deeper insight, you may wish to know that Eng. Peter Kamya played a key role and contributed immensely in fighting Obote’s government and bringing the NRM government to power during his exile in Nairobi – Kenya when such characters like Sudir were unknown.
It is therefore shocking to see a non- entity (Sudhir) of the Uganda’s liberation in 1980-1886 coming from nowhere to grab a freedom fighter’s (Eng. Peter Kamya’s) high prized property.
For your information Eng. Peter Kamya commenced his Architect firm after his University education at Nairobi University.
Besides, Eng. Peter Kamya ventured into real estate business professionally, transparently using clean money from scratch long before the Sudhirs of this world were known or came to prominence!
Robbing Eng. Peter Kamya, a professional businessman and freedom fighter of his hard earned wealth by a crook like Sudhir is very painful to all of us who sacrificed in the liberation and freedom of Uganda 1980-1985.”
He also noted that; “You may crosscheck these facts with Eng. Peter Kamya. Please note that Eng. Peter Kamya is a very humble, honest, quiet, frank, reliable, disciplined and God fearing man. I am giving you this information for your professional journalistic benefit!”
On his part, TMC Gano Mazima, another concerned Uganda said about certain media outlets that throwing professionalism to the wind in a bid to appease Sudhir ; “As Ndugu Stanley has reflected in his interviews with you, standards of journalistic professionalism in Uganda has terribly nosedived for the last seven – ten years! Please always focus on your own professional ethics and research in establishing facts so as to enhance!
Also note that Eng. Peter Kamya has been a very hard working man throughout his productive life!”
Kareiga Robert Kamanda said; “Thank you Sevo.. This Indian man is becoming a nuisance.”
Araali Kahumuza said; “Maybe they shud send in SFC to whiplash Sudhir n co to make sure this nonsense stops, How more wealth can one have to stop these dubious sht banange.”
Shakur Prince said; “But what’s the work of IGG and courts of law? Does the president have to intervene in every matter? Don’t we have operating government institutions?”
There are several other Ugandans who got concerned about this matter and raised their varying opinions although we cannot publish everything that they said.
It should be noted that Equity Bank purportedly sold Simbamanyo House to Sudhir’s Meera Investments LTD and Luwangula’s Luwaluwa Investments LTD in October 2020, claiming that Kamya had failed to service a $8.1m (about Shs29.8b) loan, a matter which he is contesting in court.