Ugandan businessman and CEO Simba group ,Patrick Bitature through his lawyers speaks out on going allegations circulating in section media that is on verge of losing his properties over bank loans and are set to be auctioned .
Properties listed in the advert that to be auctioned include: Naguru hilltop Skyz Hotel ,Elizabeth Royal Apartments in the capital’s upscale Kololo neighbourhood and Moyo close Apartments in Bukoto.
According to a public auction advert issued by Quickway Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs, the properties were lined up in order to recover all the monies owed from the loan Bitature acquired from South African lenders Vantage Mezzanine Fund.
In 2014, Bitature under Simba Property Investment secured $10 million (Shs36 billion) from Vantage Mezzanine Fund to expand his empire. But years later, the debt had skyrocketed and Bitature was struggling to pay back the debt finding himself at risk of having to surrender his entire business empire to auction.
“Duly instructed by M/s Kirunda & Wasige Advocates, on behalf of their client the registered mortgagee, we shall proceed to sell by public auction/private treaty the undermentioned property under the Mortgage Act, 2009 unless the debtor/mortgagor pays the entire outstanding loan balance and all costs attendant to our clients within 30 calendar days from the date of this advert, our client shall sake or take possession of the property described here to recover all the monies owed,” the notice read.
Bitature has dismissed the auction advert saying it had been issued without any legal basis.
He contends that the dispute was settled on the 9th May 2022 by Hon. Justice Musa Ssekana of the High Court when he declared that Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership is a non-existent legal entity which had no locus standi to file the suit.
Thank you to all our staff, customers and stakeholders, your support towards Simba Group is heart-warming.
I urge you to disregard the fake news. This attack is intended to cause reputational damage.
The laws of Uganda have been upheld and none of our properties are for sale. pic.twitter.com/OdvAI8v6IA
— Patrick Bitature (@patrickbitature) May 18, 2022
MR PATRICK BITATURE RESPONDS
We act for M/s Simba Properties Investment Co. Ltd, the registered proprietor of Protea Hotel – Naguru SKyz, Elizabeth Royal Apartments and Moyo Close Apartments.
1. Our Client’s attention is drawn to a public auction advert issued by Quickway Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs appearing at Page 9 of the Monitor newspaper of today purporting to offer our client’s abovementioned properties for sale upon the instructions of M/s Kirunda & Wasige Advocates.
2. We wish to inform the general public that the said Advert has been issued without any legal basis. It is a malicious advert whose sole purpose is to alarm and cause irreparable damage to our client’s business and reputation.
3. In that regard, we state the correct position of the matter as follows:
i) Our client’s properties are not liable to be advertised for sale by any mortgagee purported to be represented by Kirunda & Wasige Advocates and Quickway Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs.
ii) M/s Kirunda & Wasige Advocates used to act for Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership, in a long-standing Commercial dispute with our client which was decided against them recently.
iii) The above dispute was settled on the 9th May 2022 by Hon. Justice Musa Ssekana of the High Court when he declared in Misc. Cause No. 205 of 2021 Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership vs Simba Properties Investment Co. Ltd, that Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership is a non-existent legal entity which had no locus standi to file the suit.
iv) A copy of the self-explanatory Court Order which must be respected by all persons is attached for ease of reference.
v) So, from the 9th May 2022, M/s Kirunda & Wasige Advocates ceased to have a client to act for and for that matter, they cannot claim to be instructed to take legal action of any form by or for the non-existent Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership.
vi) The action taken by Kirunda & Wasige Advocates and Quickway Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs tends to disabuse the binding judicial authority which nullifies any masquerade of legal existence by Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership when they unlawfully purport to resurrect it with legal personality rights, whereas not.
vii) The above misguided and unprofessional conduct by the said lawyers and auctioneers undermines the authority of the courts of law to adjudicate disputes between the parties and is also in blatant disregard and contempt of court orders.
viii) Our client has therefore instructed us to exorcise the ghost of the non-existent Vantage Mezzanine Fund II Partnership by taking the appropriate compensatory legal action against its promoters, lawyers, Auctioneers and Monitor newspaper for the offensive publication.
ix) Our client’s well-wishers, business associates and the general public are informed and advised accordingly to ignore the impugned public notice.
Anyone who acts upon the falsehoods and misrepresentation in the impugned public notice does so at their grave risk and peril.
DATED at Kampala the 18th day of May, 2022.
MUWEMA & CO. ADVOCATES
(COUNSEL FOR SIMBA PROPERTIES INVESTMENT CO. LTD)