By Spy Uganda
Business mogul Patrick Bitature has blasted rumor mongers that have been dragging money magnet and East Africa’s unbwogable tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia in his loan scandals with Vantage Capital.
Simba Properties Investment Company Limited (SPIC) (as borrower) and Patrick Bitature (as guarantor and promotor) borrowed US$10,000,000 (Loan) from Vantage to fund the completion of Simba’s Skyz Hotel in 2014 which loan matured and fell due for repayment in December 2019. Since then, Bitature has been in battles with Vantage Capital. Out of this saga, some media sites started spreading rumors all over social media that Sudhir could be behind Vantage’s attempt to take over Bitature’s empire.
However, in a tweet already trending like wildfire, Bitature says those dragging ‘his good friend’ Sudhir’s name in these scandals are aiming at eroding their reputation in the eyes of the public.
“I would like to assure all of you that I do not think anybody in Uganda and in particular my long-time friend Sudhir Ruperalia is after my property. Unfortunately, this is part of a deliberate smear campaign aimed at eroding both his and my reputation in the eyes of the public,” Bitature tweeted.
I would like to assure all of you that I do not think anybody in Uganda & in particular my long time friend Sudhir Ruperalia is after my property. Unfortunately, this is part of a deliberate smear campaign aimed at eroding both his & my reputation in the eyes of the public.
— Patrick Bitature (@patrickbitature) May 31, 2022
In fact, the above tweet follows another statement Bitature issued yesterday analyzing all the facts around his loan battle with Vantage. In that statement, Bitature didn’t mention Sudhir anywhere.
He said he failed to fulfill his loan agreement with Vantage due to two main effects; one being the unprecedented delays by Gov’t Financial Investment Decision (FID) on oil & gas where he invested heavily in part of the loan.
Also, Bitature says used part of the money to complete Skyz Hotel in anticipation that the hotel would break even soonest. Unfortunately, even before he could settle down to do business at the hotel, COVID-19 set in breaking all his dreams.
”Following the signing of the Mezzanine facility in 2014, the first repayment was overdue in 2017. However unforeseen challenges like the unprecedented delay of the Final Investment Decision (FID) on the oil and gas projects and Vantage’s requirement to us to improve the Sky Hotel’s fire and safety features to internationally bench-marked standards hindered our envisaged projects,” says Bitature in a statement dated 30th May 2022.
Vantage recently tried to transfer shares in Bitature’s properties that were staked as security to themselves in a bid to recover their loan but they were blocked by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau on grounds that they were not Ugandan registered and had no jurisdiction to do business here.
After a court case where they were unsuccessful, Bitature’s lawyer Fred Muwema went ahead to say that Bitature had no debt to pay because he had dealt with, “a ghost”, a non-existent entity in the Ugandan jurisdiction.
However, Vantage’s lawyer Robert Kirunda successfully secured a court ruling that Bitature could be privately sued by Vantage to recover their loan.
In a May 24th, 2022 ruling, High Court Judge Stephen Mubiru condemned Bitature’s senior Lawyer Fred Muwema for misleading his client when he failed to give him proper legal advice.
The judge then ordered Muwema to pay all the legal costs to the respondents (Vantage) rather than his client (Bitature).
”Costs will be ordered against counsel personally where counsel has acted improperly, unreasonably or negligently, thereby causing the other party to incur unnecessary costs, in all the circumstances it is just to make such an order,” ruled Stephen Mubiru.