By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Uganda’s top mogul and business magnate Dr.Sudhir Ruparelia has ‘thrown some rotten eggs’ to ex-simbamanyo building owners who have since run to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni seeking his assistance in their battle of retrieving what they legally lost.
The troubled property’s ex-owners Mr. Peter Kamya and Dr. Margaret Muganwa ran to President Museveni seeking intervention into the sale of their property by Equity Bank which prompted him to task Bank of Uganda boss Emmanuel Mutebile to investigate the matter.
“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,” Museveni said in a letter and further added;
“They state that, whereas Bank of Uganda directed that there should be no foreclosure of mortgaged properties by Banks during COVID-19 pandemic, Equity Bank went ahead and sold their properties at very low prices.”
After the news getting into the Tycoon’s ears, he fired back to those ‘wasting their time’ petitioning the President saying;
“The president will get a balanced picture after his legal team advises him that these matters have already been resolved by courts of law and political intervention has come too late.”
Infact, the no-nonsense tycoon went further to hammer the troubled ex simbamanyo owners lecturing them that if they needed presidential help, they should have sought it first and earlier at the level of debt payment with the bank, before the bank put their property on sale. “They should have run to him requesting for a bail out of free money from him straight to Equity bank,to settle their debt, not after they’ve already sold,” said Sudhir
“Certainly the law on mortgages and banking have more weight and effect than those COVID-19 guidelines, for mortgage law is centuries old,” Sudhir lectured.
“(Perhaps) that was a tactful way by the president to tell Kamya that go and sort out your issues with BoU. Let Equity Bank answer as to how and why they sold, that’s their business,” he added.
East Africa’s celebrated tycoon further noted that Equity Bank cannot legally undo the foreclosure and sale of Ssimbamanyo. “Even when Equity Bank was at fault, the then Mortgager has a cause of action against it as the Mortgagee but not against the buyer,” he explained.
Anyway, to seal the entire saga, mogul Sudhir has since even renamed his swanky Simbamanyo Building as “Gender and Labour House”! 🤣🤣
For our new readers, all these come after recently Court declaring Sudhir as a rightful owner of the property following an appeal case in which the ‘now’ former owner of the building sought to stop Sudhir from taking over the property, which he bought from Equity Bank after the owner failed to clear the bank loans valued in billions.
It all begun when the two entities of Equity Bank Uganda and Equity Bank Kenya contributed money together of $3.5m and $2.5m respectively of which Simbamanyo Estates challenged saying that it only considered $7.19m (Shs26.48b), hence accusing Equity Bank Uganda of conniving with Equity Bank Kenya to illegally carry business in Uganda where it has no jurisdiction.
Simbamanyo contended that it started servicing the loan but required more financing, which culminated into additional facilities granted by Equity Bank Uganda of $1.2m (about sh4.3b) for the completion of the construction of a hotel at Mutungo, a Kampala suburb, and to take over a prior facility from Shelter Afrique hotel.
In addition, the estate company noted that Equity Bank Uganda and Kenya brokered a new deal with Bank one, a Mauritius-based bank, to lend $10m (sh36b) to it to pay the old loan with Equity Bank lenders.
In fear of the impending adverse actions at the time, Simbamanyo says it accepted the Bank one loan offer, which was made on November 16, 2017, to bridge $10m Mauritian loan for purposes of refinancing the existing loans for a period of 24 months.
Putting the estate’s dissatisfaction aside, on August 7 and 11 this year, the bank advertised the sale of the two properties by way of public auction. The advert for sale of the mortgaged properties intended to enforce the disputed credit facility advanced on November 30, 2017.
This is how Equity Bank sold the property to Sudhir’s Meera Investments Company Limited at a whopping $5million approx. (shs18.5 billion) in an effort to recover Bank’s unpaid loan amounting to about $8.1million (approx. Shs30billion).