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REVEALED: Why Court dismissed Tycoon Kamya’s plea to stop transfer of Simbamanyo House, Afrique Suites ownership

Simbamanyo House - now Gender & Labour House

Last week, Justice Stephen Mubiru from Commercial Court dismissed the application by city businessman Peter Kamya in which he asked for a temporary injunction in a bid to stop Meera Investments and Luwaluwa Investment from selling or transferring his former properties to other names.

Properties in question include Afrique Suites Hotel on Mutungo Hill which was sold to Luwaluwa by Equity Bank in October 2020 at $4,350,000 (Shs15.6bn) and Simbamanyo House on Lumumba Avenue which was taken by Meera at $5m (Shs18.5bn) following Mr Kamya’s failure to pay Shs38b bank debt.

Equity Bank sold the properties to Meera Investments Company Limited and Luwaluwa Investment after the financial institution confirming that Mr Kamya was unable to service the loan he acquired from the two entities of Equity Bank Uganda and Equity Bank Kenya that contributed money together of $3.5m and $2.5m respectively.

The new owner of Simbamanyo House, Meera Investments under property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia went ahead and renamed the building Labour House.

However, through his lawyers, Kamya challenged the rebranding of his property alleging that the caveats he lodged on September 8, 2020, were vacated to allow transfers that followed the sale of properties.

Nevertheless, in his ruling Justice Mubiru said that it would not be prudent to temporarily stop Luwaluwa Investment and Meera Investment from selling or transferring Afrique Suites and Simbamanyo house, respectively since Kamya was seeking an interlocutory injunction to protect himself against injury by violation of his claimed property rights which could be compensated if the final case is ruled in his favour.

“The applicants’ (Simbamanyo estates and Mr Peter Kamya) need for such protection must be weighed against the corresponding need of two respondents (Luwaluwa Investment and Meera Investment) to be protected against injury resulting from being prevented from exercising their own legal rights, for which they may not be adequately compensated in damages..,” Justice Mubiru said.

He added that considering the effect of the delays inherent in the administration of justice, a temporary injunction will have a disproportionate effect on the companies as an impediment to the pursuit of their proprietary rights.

He further noted that if the order is granted to the Applicant, it would inflict more hardship than it would avoid, on the companies.

“The implication is that the status quo for the last one-and-a-half years is that the two companies have been exercising the right attendant to being the registered proprietors of properties,” Justice Mubiru said.

In the same hearing, Mr Sudhir said he bought the property at plot 33 legally during a competitive auctioning that was conducted by Equity Bank as the mortgagee and therefore he has all rights to rebrand it or not since he owns it now.

“Meera neither purchased nor acquired any business of Kamya conducted on that property, their assets, trade fixtures, tenants or goodwill. The allegations that Meera intends to alienate the property is speculative,” he contended in his affidavit.

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