COMMERCIAL COURT, KAMPALA: Peter Kamya, the proprietor of Simbamanyo Estates, has petitioned the Inspector General of Government (IGG) accusing Ruparelia Group’s Meera Investments Ltd together with the Deputy Registrar of the Commercial Court Lillian Bucyana of allegedly colluding with Equity Bank, Sudhir Ruparelia and others to grab his property – the Simbamanyo House.
Kamya’s grievances arise from a case he filed against Equity Bank, Meera Investments and Luwaluwa Investments limited, challenging the auction that Equity bank purportedly conducted in October 2020, during which the bank allegedly sold Simbamanyo House to Sudhir’s Meera Investments and Pearl Afrique Suites to Ronald Luwangula, of Luwaluwa Investments.
In a letter addressed to the IGG on Tuesday February 23, City Architect Kamya through his lawyers O-A Advocates accuses the Deputy Registrar of gross abuse of office, fraud and conniving with Equity Bank and Sudhir Ruparelia to dispossess ownership of his prime property Simbamanyo House.
In the ruling on February 19th, 2021, the commercial court dismissed with costs an application filed by Simbamanyo Estates Limited in which Kamya, through his lawyers of Muwema & Co. Advocates, accuses Equity Bank of allegedly colluding with other people to sell his properties to Sudhir’s Meera Investments and Luwangula’s Luwaluwa Investments respectively, after flouting all standard procedures.
The ruling was made by High Court Deputy Registrar Her Worship, Lillian Bucyana, in the absence of the plaintiffs, Simbamanyo and or their lawyers.
Ms Bucyana, on Wednesday February 17th, 2021 issued an- ex parte ruling/order that the “suit is abated for failure to take out summons in time”.
The legal term ex parte means by or for one party’ or ‘by one side. An ex parte decree is a decree which is passed in the absence of the other party.
According to credible sources, Ms Bucyana, the deputy registrar of the High Court Commercial Division, reported at the commercial court on that day, yet she was and still is on leave, just to sign that document, after which she returned to her residence.
What shocked the public even more are the circumstances of her court order which are unique and shocking because Ms Bucyana had on February 10th, 2021, just a week prior to her ruling, personally issued a temporary injunction against Equity Bank, Meera Investments and Luwaluwa Investments to desist from selling, mortgaging or by whatever means alienating the suit properties owned by architect Peter Kamya under Simbamanyo Estates, until the main suit that was filed in court pertaining to the same is disposed of.
Furthermore, Kamya the proprietor of Simbamanyo Estates, through his lawyers of Wameli & Co. Advocates, had filed an appeal against the same order and needed a reply.
However, in a strange twist of events, she has now ordered that the suit is abated for failure to take out summons in time without giving notice of resumption of the trial to the parties and before the determination of the appeal.
“This conflict in, my view, constitutes a sufficient cause for reinstating the suit,” said Mr. Geoffrey Turyamusiima of Wameli & Co. Advocates.
“Article 126 (2) (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) orders courts to ensure that justice is done to all irrespective of their social or economic status and that substantive justice shall be administered without undue regard to technicalities,” he added.
It is further mentioned that Simbamanyo intended to appeal against the order but could not extract it because the said Deputy Registrar deliberately ‘sat’ on it. It was not until after two months after she had made the ruling that she begrudgingly signed the order on February 10th, 2021 after Simbamanyo lawyers incessantly probed her intentions.
This seems to have been done with the succinct connivance and collusion of the said tycoon who owns Meera Investments, who thereafter applied on February 12th, 2021 for the suit to be abated on a time-based technicality as the registrar’s deliberate and mischievous actions of refusing to endorse the order had locked the applicant, Simbamanyo, from timely applications and filings.
When on February 12th, 2021, Meera Investments extracted an order for abatement of the Suit, the order was hurriedly signed ex parte by the same Deputy Registrar, Bucyana on February 15th, 2021, just two days later to fast track the misfeasance and alter the status quo of the registration of the suit premises so as to frustrate the Plaintiff,Simbamanyo’s claims.
It is thus clear that this well-calculated and organized crime is shielded by judicial officers who are supposed to be at the vanguard of exercising equal justice hinged upon the oath they took. These actions and inactions have over time avoided scrutiny because the errant perpetrators are veiled with protection from line institutions like the Inspector of Courts among others, who in most times give them a casual caution.
However, architect Kamya, who has received and enjoyed overwhelming local support and phone calls from the public and well-wishers, has advised the public not to lose trust in the court system of our land.
“We have the opportunity to reinstate the suit and are confident that the authorities of the judicial system will see that justice is not only done but is seen to be done, despite the mischievous actions of the Deputy Registrar and her accomplices Meera Investments,” said Kamya.