You’ve No Legal Presence In Uganda: Justice Musa Ssekaana Quashes Vantage Mezzanine Application Against Bitature

You’ve No Legal Presence In Uganda: Justice Musa Ssekaana Quashes Vantage Mezzanine Application Against Bitature

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By Spy Uganda

Vantage Mezzanine’s hope to auction mogul Patrick Bitature’s properties seems to be falling apart after the High Court Justice Musa Ssekaana quashed its judicial review application on grounds of lacking legal presence in Uganda.

In yesterday’s article, we unearthed how Quickway Auctioneers & Court Bailiffs purportedly contracted by Kirunda and Wasike Co.Advocates had put Bitature’s multi-billion properties around Kampala on auction after he allegedly failed to pay a loan amounting to UGX100B.

Bitature through his lawyer of Muwema & Co.Advocates was quick to respond to the above terming the move as fake and illegal citing the May ruling of Hon. Justice Musa Ssekaana that declared Vantage Mezzanine as a non-existent legal entity that had no locus standi to file the suit.

Read Full Ruling Here

”It is a malicious advert whose sole purpose is to alarm and cause irreparable damage to our client’s business and reputation. Our client’s properties are not liable to be advertised for sale by any mortgagee purported to be represented by Kirunda & Wasige Advocates and Quickway Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs,” stated Bitature’s lawyer of Muwema & Co.Advocates in a public notice.

Now, TheSpy Uganda has learnt that the South African loan provider, Vantage Capital through its lawyer of Kirunda & Wasige Advocates rushed to Court yesterday seeking the judicial review of their application.

Justice Musa Ssekaana didn’t waste their time, issued an order in which he informed the company thus;

1. The Applicant has no legal presence and locus (capacity) to commence this application.

2. The Application is hereby dismissed with no orders as to costs.

Justice Musa Ssekaana’s Order

Genesis Of This Saga

This whole saga stems from 2014 when Bitature got ten million US dollars (Ush36 billion) in funding from South African loan provider, Vantage Capital.

The loan was made to Simba Properties Investment Company, the property investment arm of Simba Group. Bitature reportedly took the loan aiming to expand his real estate portfolio.

Bitature, through his lawyer, doesn’t deny that he received the money but has since then never paid a penny, why?, he argues that the company isn’t legally registered in Uganda and therefore can’t carry out any business, let alone borrowing billions of money to him! Bitature’s debt, according to sources had swollen close to thirty million US dollars (Ush100 billion), of which, instead of paying back, he changed gears and asked for legal paperwork for the company that borrowed him.

Bitature’s opinion was indeed cemented by Hon. Justice Musa Ssekaana of the High Court when he on 9th May 2022 declared in Misc. Cause No. 205 of 2021 Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership vs Simba Properties Investment Co. Ltd, that Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership is a non-existent legal entity which had no locus standi to file the suit.

”In the present case the applicant contends that it is a partnership, which means that it must comply with the law which requires registration in order to have the capacity to sue or to be sued in Uganda. The applicant’s status as a recognized entity in South Africa has not be proved to the satisfaction of this court since there is no single registered document that has been produced before this court apart from a few pages of the unregistered partnership agreement,” ruled Ssekaana.

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He added, ”In the same vain, this Court rejects the submission of counsel for the applicant, that foreign partnerships are free to operate in Uganda outside the regulatory registration requirements contained in the Partnerships Act, 2010 and the Business Names Registration Act (Cap 109). Therefore, the international partnerships or foreign partnerships just like the Ugandan partnership cannot be recognized once they are not registered since their identities are unknown and it may open the door wide for fraud in their transactions and dealings.”

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