Simbamanyo Building in Kampala that has been renamed Gender and Labour House. PHOTO/COURTESY

President Yoweri Museveni has directed the Governor Bank of Uganda, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile, to investigate how Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites hotel were auctioned by Equity Bank.

Equity Bank early this year auctioned Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites hotel after the owner, Mr Peter Kamya, failed to pay a loan of Shs40b.

Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia acquired Simbamanyo House, a prime property along Lumumba Avenue in the centre of Kampala, at Shs 18.5bn.

Afrique Suites, which were also owned by former Simbamanyo Estates owner, Peter Kamya, were sold by Equity Bank to Luwaluwa Investments Ltd which belongs to a Supreme Court clerk.

Kamya says the sale and transfer “were unduly and designedly rushed as they were all done on 8 October, 2020 in just a space of 2 hours.”

Peter Kamya (left), the owner of Simbamanyo Estates, and Sudhir Ruparelia, who bought the estates.

And now the President wants Mutebile to quickly investigate and write a report explaining how Equity Bank managed to sell the two properties, especially against his orders stopping banks from auctioning customers’ properties during the Covid 19 crisis.

“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 wrote to BoU governor Tumusiime Mutebile on September 3. 

“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,” the letter reads in part.

“That they had even offered to get their own buyers but all their attempts were frustrated,” said Museveni.

“This is, therefore, to direct that you expeditiously investigate the matter and report back within one week,” said Museveni.

It is understood Kamya met with President Museveni at State Lodge, Nakasero where he narrated how his properties were reportedly stolen in broad daylight.

Kamya argued that Equity Bank illegally caused the removal of his caveats on the suit properties without complying with the procedure under S. 139 Registration of Titles Act and issued a notice of sale on 7 September, 2020 in contempt of the Court which had maintained the injunction restraining the sale process of the suit properties before expiry of 30 days.

Museveni thereafter summoned the Court Clerk to State House in Nakasero who bought the Hotel at UGX12b.