President Museveni has intervened in a case where Housing Finance Bank is accused of fraudulently selling property belonging to a city businesswoman.
Ida May Kwesiga who owns Mayflower apartments sitting on an acre of land at Nakasero ran to the Land Division of the High Court in Kampala to sue Housing Finance Bank together with Balaji Group East Africa Limited.
However, according to a September, 9, 2020 letter to the bank’s Managing Director, Museveni says the businesswoman approached her for intervention in the matter.
“Whereas I am aware of the mandate of the bank when it comes to non- performance loans, Ida May Kwesiga should be given opportunity to sell the property herself and pay the bank within a period of two months,”Museveni says in the letter also copied to the Governor Bank of Uganda and May Kwesiga.
The businesswoman says she entered into an agreement with the bank in 2013 to develop her property by erecting the apartments and the bank approved a loan of $2.7m to her, which was to be paid back in 10 years.
According to court documents, the loan facility was secured by property located along Luthuli Avenu in Bugoloobi.
“Due to unconscionable terms of payment, the plaintiff(Kwesiga) defaulted and the first defendant(Housing Finance Bank) issued her with a notice of default on July,3, 2019.The first defendant subsequently issued the notice of sale against the said mortgaged property on September 9, 2019 and on October,15, 2019, the first defendant published an advert for the sale of the mortgaged property,” the court documents say.
The businesswoman avers that in November last year, she applied to the High Court to have the mortgage reviewed on ground that it was given on unconscionable terms, misrepresentation of facts by members and not being given chance to be represented by an independent financial advisor.
She argues that court later issued an order restraining the bank from selling the said property but during the Coronavirus lock-down, the property was sold to Balaji Group East Africa Limited.
“The first defendant without re-issuing default notices, re-advertising or re-evaluating to ascertain the current market value, proceeded and sold the suit property to the second defendant. The plaintiff has just come to learn that the property was sold to Balaji Group East Africa Limited despite having a court order and being aware of the current Covid-19 situation that has affected the entire economy,” court documents say.
The businesswoman argues that the property at $2.4million (about sh8.8bn) yet it had earlier been valued at $8 million( about sh33bn).
The High Court in Kampala recently stopped Housing Finance Bank from transferring ownership of the estate to Balaji Group Ltd.