By Ivan Mwine
His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has intervened in the sale of architect Peter Kamya’s Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites, which Equity Bank purportedly sold to city businessman Sudhir Ruparelia’s Meera Investments Limited and Ronald Luwangula’s Luwaluwa Investments, respectively.
As a result of this new development, Sudhir and Luwangula’s days of owning Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites, which he acquired under dubious circumstances, are numbered.
This is because we have it from credible sources that President Museveni has since directed the Bank of Uganda Governor Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, to investigate allegations that Equity Bank fraudulently acquired the Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites from Kamya and auctioned them to Sudhir and Luwangula even when the Central Bank had objected to the auctioning.
“Mr. Peter Kamya and Dr. Margaret Muganwa have appealed for my intervention in matters regarding the sale of Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites by Equity Bank. They state that, whereas 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. That they had even offered to get their own buyers but all their attempts were frustrated,” President Museveni’s letter to Bank of Uganda reads in part.
He continues that; “This, is therefore to direct you expeditiously investigate the matter and report to me within one week.”
It should however be noted that Simbamanyo petitioned president Museveni to intervene in the matter after his efforts of seeking justice from courts of law hit a dead end, following the legal Ping-Pong that was being orchestrated by some officials at Equity bank in a bid to fail him.
The matter stems from the case that Simbamanyo filed against Equity Bank at the High Court Commercial Division, contesting a loan of USD10.8M about (40Bn) that Equity Bank claims to have extended to him in 2017 to expand his business empire.
On realizing that he was facing some financial hiccups, officials at Equity Bank, led by Anthony Kituuka and others hatched a plan to grab Simbamanyo and other properties owned by Kamya by fronting the claim that he had failed to clear his outstanding loan balance, hence they had to foreclose on his properties and auction them to raise their money.
On August 7 and August 11th last year, the bank advertised the sale of Simbamanyo House Afrique Suites by way of public auction. The advert for sale of the mortgaged properties sought to enforce the disputed credit facility advanced on November 30, 2017 and although Kamya objected to the same, the bank went ahead to auction the properties in October last year .
Despite the fact that Simbamanyo objected to the auction and dragged Equity Bank to Court, the bank went ahead to forcefully grab his properties which they later sold to Sudhir and Luwangula without even consulting Kamya, who had been their client for over a decade, or even declaring the proceeds from the auction, which left him very disenfranchised.
Indeed, in his letter to the Bank of Uganda Governor, President Museveni directs Mutebile to specifically investigate allegations that Equity Bank officials did not only refuse to follow due diligence before, during and after the auction but also rejected an offer by Kamya to get a buyer who would buy the property at a higher price than what Sudhir and Luwangula offered.
However, now that president Museveni has gotten involved in the matter, Equity Bank, Sudhir, Luwangula and all those who were involved in the fraudulent sale of Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites are bound to pay for their sins sooner than they expected.
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