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Embattled Peter Kamya finally pays court filing fees after being exposed in Simbamanyo house saga

The bank seized Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites Hotel on Mutungo Hill in Kampala last year after the city tycoon Peter Kamya and his Simbamanyo Estates failed to clear loans to a tune of $10.8m (about Shs40 billion).

Simbamanyo House and its Embattled former owner Peter Kamya in set

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Peter Kamya, the embattled former owner of Simbamanyo House – now Gender & Labour House has finally paid the Commercial Court filing fees amounting to UGX. 81 million meant to push his legal fight to regain his lost property.

Kamya had recently appealed to court to reverse the foreclosure of Simbamanyo Estates and Afrique Suites Hotel but it later emerged that the businessman never paid appropriate legal fees in both the main and the appeal case.

Stranded in shame and not sure of what next step to take, Kamya has now through his lawyers- Byenkya, Kihika & Co. Advocates told the Commercial Court Deputy Registrar that they received a letter written by M/S Walusimbi & Co Advocates on 30th November 2021 under reference number P/L13/MIL/10/21, regarding payment of filing fees.

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Kamya’s lawyers say their client has since paid the filing fees he owes Court.

“As a result of the contents of the letter, our clients obtained a fresh assessment from the cashier-Commercial Court for filling fees and the same computed at UGX. 81,750,000/=. The said money has since been paid by our clients as filing fees,” Kamya’s lawyers said in a Friday 10th December 2021 letter to the Deputy Registrar, Commercial Court Division, High Court of Uganda.

”The purpose of this letter is to therefore pray that the file of HCCS No. 464 of 2021 be updated to reflect the filing fees of UGX. 18,720,000/=.”

Genesis of the matter:

Through Walusimbi & Co. Advocates, Meera Investments, whose majority shareholder is billionaire Sudhir, last month wrote to the Deputy Registrar of the High Court asking the court to examine allegations that Simbamanyo Estates and proprietor Kamya did not pay appropriate legal fees in a number of court matters surrounding the multi-billion property row.

“The plaintiffs (Peter Kamya and Simbamanyo Estates) have continuously filed multiple and incessant suits touching the same subject matter while evading payment of the right Court filing fees,” the letter, dated November 30th and Ref: P/L13/MIL/10/21 reads in part. “We are aware that in both HCCS No. 837 of 2020, which was abated and in the current suit, HCCS No. 464 of 2021, the applicable filing fees was approximately UGX100,000,000/= for each suit, in view of the pleaded value of the subject matter being USD23,000,000. However, the record indicates that in HCCS No. 837 of 2020, the Plaintiffs therein who are also the respondents in the above application purportedly paid UGX 37,000,000/= as the court filing fees whereas not. The endorsement stamp on the plaint is not backed up by the actual payment of the right court filing fees or at all,” the letter reads.

“In the current suit, HCCS 464/2021, we are also aware that the plaintiffs who are also the Respondents in the application this time paid only a sum of UGX1,000,000 instead of the right filing fees.”

Walusimbi & Co Advocates then went ahead to ask the registrar to bring the matter of filing fees to the attention of trial judge.

“In the premises, we pray that you be pleased to bring this to the attention of the learned Trial Judge so that a verification of these issues touching the payment and or non-payment of the Court fees and presentation of the receipts by the accounts section is done prior to the hearing of this application so as to facilitate the expeditious disposal of the application and for the courts for further action,” the letter further reads.

Court recently ruled that Kamya should pay a total of Shs1.3bn as legal costs to Equity Bank (Shs600m), Meera Investments (Shs400m) and Luwaluwa Investments (Shs300m). But Kamywa rushed to court to ask court to reexamine the matter.

The matter is due for hearing on December 13th for hearing by Justice Stephen Mubiru.

Earlier on, attempts by Peter Kamya to drag the president into the matter, suffered a miscarriage after the president, following a briefing from the Central Bank and the Attorney General, advised the embattled architect and businessman to let justice take its natural cause.

Recently the troubled former Simbamanyo House owner was ordered by the High Court, Commercial Division to pay over UGX2.9 billion over a messed up land sale.

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