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SIMBAMANYO: Court of Appeal halts proceedings in case challenging sale of property by Equity Bank

The former Simbamanyo building (Now Gender & Labour Houses) on Lumumba Avenue, Kampala. PHOTO/ FILE

KAMPALA, UGANDA: The Court of Appeal in Kampala has put a temporary injunction on proceedings in the case in which Simbamanyo Estates Limited is challenging the sale of mortgaged property by Equity Bank, pending the determination of the substantive application for stay of the same.

The court issued the express order stopping the Commercial Division of the High Court from proceeding in the protracted legal battle between Simbamanyo Estates and its managing director, Peter Kamya, against Equity Bank Limited, Luwaluwa Investments Limited as well as Katende, Ssempebwa, and Company Advocates.

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Justice Cheborion Barishaki of the Court of Appeal ruled that the interim order sought by the applicants is necessary to preserve the status quo until the substantive application for stay of proceedings is heard and determined.

The court held that the orders being appealed have an impact on how the main suit will proceed.  
The judge explained that the matters emanate from a case whose subject matter is highly valuable property.

Justice Barishaski also dismissed an objection raised by Simbamanyo lawyers regarding the competence of the application in which they vainly argued that the matter was not properly filed before the Appeal Court.

Background

Court documents show that Equity Bank, Luwaluwa Investments, and the law firm applied for orders to stop proceedings in the lower court and also the implementation of its orders.

The High Court issued an order for inspection of and taking certified copies of certain accounts in Equity Bank held by its managing director, Luwaluwa Investments plus Katende, Ssempebwa, and Company Advocates. 

The intention is to reveal on oath email correspondences and an executed performance bank guarantee.
The court heard that—after being dissatisfied with the orders—the bank and others sought to appeal, which the trial judge declined. This prompted the parties to lodge a complaint with the chief inspector of courts and the court of appeal.

Court records show that Simbamanyo Estates and Mr Kamya are embroiled in a protracted legal battle regarding the advertisement and sale of its properties—Simbamanyo Building on Lumumba Avenue and Afrique Suites on Mutungo Hill.

The said multi-billion properties were sold to Meera Investments Limited and Luwaluwa Investments Limited in October 2020.

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