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‘Kicks of a dying horse’- Tycoon Sudhir Responds to Museveni’s letter on disputed Simbamanyo house

Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia (L) and the Simbamanyo House (R)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Businessman Sudhir Ruparelia has opened up on the disputed Simbamanyo House ownership days after the embattled owner Peter Kamya ran to President Museveni seeking intervention into the sale of their property.

In response to the incident, Dr. Sudhir has dismissed the President’s intervention in the property row citing it as being non-effective because it came too late.

Sudhir, who owns a lineup of buildings in the city center says the decision by former Simbamanyo owner Peter Kamya to run to the president for help resemble “kicks of a dying horse”.

“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,” Dr. Sudhir said in a statement released after Museveni’s letter went viral.

In his letter to Mutebile dated September 3rd, President Museveni explained that the owners of the said properties Mr. Peter Kamya and Margaret Muganwa sought his intervention into the matter after they were left frustrated by what they claim was an illegal deal between Mogul Sudhir and the Equity Bank.

“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 addressed to Mutebile.

“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 president added.

President Museveni’s full letter addressed to Governor Mutebile

Sudhir in response to the above directive says if Kamya needed presidential help, he should have sought it first and earlier at the level of debt payment so that the bank before his property was placed on the market.

“Certainly the law on mortgages and banking have more weight and effect than those COVID-19 guidelines for mortgage law is centuries old.” Sudhir said adding that despite Museveni’s letter of intervention into the matter, the status quo remains.

“(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,” Sudhir said.

He added that even if it wanted Equity Bank cannot legally undo the foreclosure and subsequent 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.

Sudhir Acquires Simbamanyo Properties

Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, the Chairman of Ruparelia Group, who doubles as the Honorary Consul of Nepal to Uganda, acquired Simbamanyo House, a prime property along Lumumba Avenue in the centre of Kampala at Shs 18.5bn after Peter Kamya ‘allegedly’ failed to pay a bank loan he had acquired from Equity Bank.

Troubled with the loan conflict, Kamya contested the sale of his property to Sudhir after failing to pay back a loan he took from Equity bank who also later sold his Mutungo-based Afrique Suites over the same loan debt to Luwaluwa Investments.

Sudhir’s lawyers affirm that the acquisition through the investment arm of the Ruparelia Group of Companies followed a public auction put up by Equity Bank which sought to recover an unpaid loan of $8.1 million from Simbamanyo Estates.

Ssimbamanyo House gets new name

Earlier this month, Tycoon Sudhir changed the name of Simbamanyo House located at Plot 2 Lumumba Avenue to Gender & Labour House following the court ruling that he is the rightful owner of the prime property.

The building a now under the management of Meera Investments Ltd, a real estate arm of his Ruparelia Group shelters the Ministry of Labor, Gender and Social Development among other tenants.

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