Simbamanyo Estates Limited have asked the court to reinstate a case in which its proprietors are challenging the sale of its multimillion property as a bank moved to recover outstanding loans worth $10.8 million (about Shs40 billion).
In the case filed before the Commercial Division of the High Court, Simbamanyo Estates Limited and its proprietor, Architect Peter Kamya has appealed against the order of the registrar that abated the case.
They contend that the abatement order of February 17 by the registrar Lillian Bucyana was premature and irregular which should be set aside.
Last week, the registrar held: “The suit abates for failure to take out summons for directions in time.”
The order had closed a case which Simbamanyo Estates Limited had filed against Equity Bank (U) Limited, Meera Investments Limited, Luwaluwa Investments Limited and the Commissioner for land Registration.
Abatement process is a pre-trial procedure which is only intended to expedite hearing of cases.
Through lawyers of Muwema and Company Advocates, Simbamanyo Estates Limited and Mr Kamya have asked the court to reinstate the case so that it is heard on its merit because it raises issues on fraudulent sale of disputed property.
Last year Simbamanyo Estates Limited and its proprietor Architect Peter Kamya had sued the four parties alleging fraudulent and illegal sale of their prime property.
According to the application to be heard by a judge, the registrar made a decision on a case file which was before a judge pending hearing in respect of an appeal in respect of the injunction order that refused to grant a positive injunction.
Simbamanyo Estates appealed against the ruling of the registrar which declined to grant him orders to temporarily re-enter into properties after they were sold.
The court instead ordered for a status quo to be maintained but barred the buyers from selling or transferring the same.
The multibillion property in dispute include Simbamanyo building which houses the Ministry of gender on Lumumba Avenue and Afrique Suites at Mutungo Hill.
In October last year, Equity Bank sold the two property; Simbamanyo building on Lumumba Avenue to Meera Investments Limited while Luwaluwa Investments bought Afrique Suites on Mutungo Hill in Nakawa Division.
The property was guaranteed to Equity Bank Uganda as security for Simbamanyo Estates Limited to get a $10.8 million loan in November 2017.
On August 7 and 11 last year, the bank advertised the sale of the two properties by way of public auction. The advert for sale of the mortgaged properties sought to enforce the disputed credit facility advanced on November 30 2017.
The sale followed dismissal of several court cases in which Simbamanyo Estates Limited had sought to block the sale claiming that the loans advanced to him were illegal.
Last month, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) rejected rejected criminal proceedings against the property buyers and bank officials.
Mr Kamya reported cases of criminal trespass and fraudulent disposition of mortgaged property at Jinja Road Police.
They contend that the court registrar failed in her duty when she issued an abatement order without giving the plaintiffs a chance to explain why the summons to issue for guidelines were not issued as required by law.
“If she had summoned the plaintiffs, she would have discovered that the plaintiffs’ actions were right because Meera Investments and the commissioner for lands had not yet served the plaintiffs’ counsel with their defences,” reads Kamya’s affidavits.
He contends that it was irregular to abate the case in proceedings without hearing from the plaintiffs.
The court order followed a notice in which Meera Investments lawyers of Walusimbi and Company Advocates reported that the case abates because the complainants did not take out summons for directions in the stipulated time.
Equity Bank Limited argued that the proprietors of Simbamanyo Estates Limited defaulted on their loan obligations when they failed to pay any money as required by the contracted signed.