President Museveni has directed Attorney General, Kiryowa Kiwanuka, to probe alleged fraud in the purported sale of Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites, prime properties that belong to businessman Peter Kamya.
In a September 3 directive, the president notes that “Peter Kamya and Dr Margaret Muganwa Kamya have appealed to me seeking for my intervention in the alleged illegal sale of the above-mentioned properties by Equity bank. They state that their properties were sold when there were cases pending in court and without a court order. This is to direct, that you urgently investigate the matter and render a legal opinion within one week,” reads the president’s letter.
It is unclear whether the Attorney General has completed the investigations after the expiry of the deadline on September 10.
Kamya is embroiled in a protracted legal battle with Equity bank, which purportedly sold the two properties on grounds that he failed to service a $10m loan.
However, Kamya contends in court that there were several illegalities in the loan process and that the subsequent foreclosure of his properties was marred with fraud.
Last month, Kamya and his Simbamanyo Estates filed a fresh suit challenging Equity bank’s sale of Simbamanyo House to Meera Investments owned by tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia for $5m while Luwaluwa acquired Afrique Suites for $4.3m.
In the plaint, Kamya says the bank breached its fiduciary duties when it illegally sold the suit properties and that there was collusion and connivance with the other defendants in actuating the unlawful sale and disposal of the suit properties and businesses.
Simbamanyo further says the market value of Simbamanyo House is $12m and that of Afrique Suits is $11m. Through his lawyers Muwema and Company Advocates and Kakuru and Company Advocates, Simbamanyo wants court to declare that Equity bank’s acts of selling and disposing of the suit properties was in the circumstances, in violation of the plaintiff’s right to redeem the mortgages.
Simbamanyo further wants court to declare that the advance payment of $1 million by Meera Investments to the Equity bank lawyers Katende Ssempebwa and Company Advocates to facilitate the impugned purchase of both properties before the auction date was a fraudulent and an illegal act.
“The plaintiff seeks a declaration that the purported sale of the properties on the October 8, 2020, and the concurrent transfer of the same properties to the second and third defendants by the fourth defendant vide an alleged auction, were all procured by dishonest conduct, fraud and is illegal.”
Simbamanyo further contends that the sale and transfer the suit properties and businesses was in contempt of the court proceedings in an earlier suit which is pending hearing and final determination at the High court.