Court halts sale of Bitature properties

Protea Hotel in Naguru, Kampala, is one of the properties that had been lined up for auctioning. PHOTO/ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • Court ruled that advertising the property should be stayed until the determination of the application of interim order.

The Court of Appeal has halted the auctioning and sale of prime properties belonging to businessman Patrick Bitature.

Justice Christopher Gashirabake, sitting as a single judge yesterday, held that there is an eminent threat that the properties could be auctioned and sold despite a pending case.

“There is all evidence that there is a real threat of sale/disposal of the property before determination of the main arguments of jurisdiction of this court can be determined,” ruled Justice Gashirabake.

He added: “For this reason, I grant the protective order sought. Any further form of threat of sale or dealing in the advertised property is hereby stayed until the determination of the application of interim order of stay. I order accordingly. I give no order as to costs.” 

The properties that were advertised on May 18 in various newspapers include Elizabeth apartments in Kololo, Protea Hotel (Skyz’s Hotel) in Naguru, Moyo Close apartments and Kololo Gardens in Kampala.

Patrick Bitature

The intended advertisement was meant to recover $32m (about Shs117b) that Vantage is demanding from the businessman following a loan deal gone bad.

The businessman’s lawyers led by Fred Muwema, who had run to the Court of Appeal and applied for a protective order, had argued that there is  an imminent threat to the sale of the aforementioned properties and that there was a need for a temporary halt.

The Commercial Division of the High Court mid this month dismissed an application in which Simba Properties Investment Co. Ltd and Simba Telecom Ltd, both owned by businessman Bitature, in which he had sought to stop the advertisement and auctioning of his four prime properties. Justice Stephen Mubiru’s ruling had paved the way for Vantage to proceed  with the sale of the properties. 

Mr Bitature had sought a temporary injunction, stopping lawyers Robert Kirunda, Wasige and bailiff Katerega from selling off his properties until the final disposal of the pending court cases. 

Genesis

The move to advertise the properties followed a history of litigation between Simba Properties and Vantage that begun in December 2014 when the former borrowed money from the latter.

Simba Properties secured the loan using properties registered in its names. A number of law suit were filed after loan deal went bad.

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