By Andrew Irumba
In a ruling delivered by Court of Appeal Justice Gashirabake Christopher (single justice) on Monday 27th June 2022, the sale of tycoon Patrick Bitature’s properties under Simba Group has been put on halt until the main application is heard.
The above decision was after Bitature’s lawyers; Fred Muwema, Friday Roberts Kagoro and C. K Nsubuga applied for a Protective Order at Court of Appeal Kampala stating that there is an imminent threat of sale of the applicant’s properties comprised in;
- LRV 3895 Folio 4 Plot 3 Water Land Naguru Kampala,
- LRV 3435 Folio 10 Water Land Plot 12 Naguru Kampala and LRV 4294 Folio 20 Plot 12 Moyo close.
- LRV 3903 Folio 13 Plot 32 Elizabeth Avenue Kololo
- LRV 3891 Folio 18 Plot 1 Water Lane Naguru Kampala
- LRV 3895 Folio 3 Plot 5 Water Lane Naguru Kampala.
You may remember that these same properties were some months back advertised for sale by the agents of Vantage Mezzanine Fund Limited, Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership and Derek Alexander II Director, Vantage Mezzanine Fund II proprietary Limited.
Shockingly, in court, Vantage lawyers; Counsel S. Tendo Kabenge, Robert Kirunda and Kasabiti Diana objected to Bitature’s application saying there was no threat of sale of the property adding that the sale which should have taken place on the 18th June 2022 never took place and no such sale is therefore contemplated.
Court also heard that the Mortgagees were not parties to the suit and their Agents (Robert P. Kirunda and Noah Shammah Wasige Trading as Ms Kirunda & Wasige & Advocates), Festus Kateregga trading as Quick way Auctioneers and Court bailiffs) were not the right parties in this application.
However, Bitature’s lawyer submitted to Court that before the lapse of 30 days after the advertisement for sale, the property is still available for sale and therefore the threat is still there, something Vantage lawyers vehemently refuted.
Bitature lawyers prayed that the protective order be given under the provisions of the Rules of this Court particularly Rule 2(2) of the Judicature (Court of Appeal) Rules) Directions, SI 13-10 to preserve the status quo.
Court Squeezes Vantage Lawyers
”There is a copy of the advert in Daily monitor of Wednesday May 18, 2022 attached as annexure B to the application. If indeed as the counsel for the respondents submitted that there is no threat or imminent danger of sale
of the property, why would the advert in the Daily monitor have been placed in the newspapers? The advert has not been withdrawn. Is a prudent person supposed to ignore the advert? No!!. The answer is a resounding no. Would anyone rely on the advert to offer to buy the property? Answer is Yes!!,” noted Justice Gashirabake.
After hearing from both sides as seen above, Justice Gashirabake ruled on Application no. 538 of 2022 thus ”Having addressed myself to the above as I have done, there is all evidence that there is a real threat of sale/disposal of the property before determination of the main arguments of jurisdiction of this Court can be determined. For this reason, I grant the Protective Order sought.”
He added that any further form of threat of sale or dealing in the advertised property is stayed until the determination of the application of interim order of stay.