Kampala businessman and property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia has acquired Simbamanyo House, the building accommodating the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development along Lumumba Avenue in the city centre.
The development was announced in an October 8, 2020 notice to all tenants by Equity Bank that Sudhir’s Meera Investments Limited had acquired the building through an auction by the bank that sought to recover a $8.1million loan.
“We are writing to inform you that Equity Bank Uganda Limited, as mortgagee, has completed the sale of the above-mentioned property, after a public auction concluded on October 8, 2020, to the evaluated bidder M/S Meera Investment Ltd. All the tenants were put on notice of the said auction via an advert in the Daily Monitor Newspaper dated September 8, 2020,” the notice signed by the Equity Bank Managing Director, Sam Kirubi reads in part.
“The new owners will get in touch with all tenants individually to work out the modalities for the ownership transition. We trust you to accord the new owners all the courtesy and all future rental payments and other tenant inquiries and obligations will be handled by Meera Investments Ltd or their agents.”
According to CL Risk Management Services who auctioned the house on behalf of the bank, tenants will be required to start dealing with Meera Investments Limited as the new landlord.
“You are now requested to regularise your tenancy, occupancy and use of the property with your new Landlord—Meera Investments Limited,” a statement by Christopher Lumala, the CL Risk Management Services Managing Director reads in part.
The sale of Simbamanyo building seems to be the climax of a legal dispute that its owner Peter Kamya who is also the proprietor of Simbamanyo Estates is embroiled in with Equity Bank Uganda and Equity Bank Kenya over unpaid loans to his company.
According to court documents, the two banks entered into an agreement to have Simbamanyo get $6million to finance the construction of Afrique Suites Hotel in Mutungo as well as facilitate another loan that had previously been advanced to the estates company.
The amount to be paid was $8.10 million(shs29.83bn) including interest and operational fees but Simbamanyo failed to service the loan prompting Equity Bank to take over Simbamanyo House along Lumumba Avenue.