Simbamanyo House on sale over sh2.5b debt. Photos by Ashraf Kasirye.
Seasoned Kampala architect, Peter Kamya, who owns the eight-storey Simbamanyo House, has said the act of advertising his building in the press as being on sale, was done in bad faith.
Kamya dismissed reports that his property was up for sale, adding; “Those are the gimmicks of the bank. We are in court over breach of contract and they went ahead and published the property in the press (as being on sale). But we shall put an advert after we have secured an injunction against the sale.”
Manquick Auctioneers High Court bailiffs and debt collectors put the magnificent Simbamanyo house, which houses the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, on sale.
In a notice published in the press on September 19, the bailiffs said they intend to sell Simbamanyo House within 30 days if Kamya does not pay up a debt of $713,130.437 (over sh2.5b) he owes their client, Equity Bank, plus their costs.
The building situated on Plot 2 Lumumba Avenue and overlooking the Danish Embassy and Rwenzori House, belongs to, Kamya, who is also the proprietor of Associated Architects and Simbamanyo Estate Limited.
Simbamanyo House, which is sitting on 0.322 hectares, is on sale together with another property, Afrique Suites hotel, located on block 237 plot 95 at Mutungo and Luzira measuring about 0.85 hectares.
“Upon instructions from our client, the registered mortgagee, we shall proceed to sell the under mentioned property unless the debtor (Kamya) pays all the monies owed, our fees, costs and disbursements before the date of sale (30 days after the advertisement),” the bailiffs stated.
Earlier attempt to sell it
In December 2001, a section of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) board members had mooted a plan to buy the storeyed Simbamanyo House at $10m (sh36b).
However, the proposal hit a dead end after it met stiff resistance from the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and NSSF management.
Subsequently, NSSF abandoned plans to buy Simbamanyo House, and in March 2002, the gender ministry signed a tenancy agreement to rent the building, which it has occupied to date.
The then NSSF acting managing director, Martin Bandebire, said the issue of buying Simbamanyo House was abandoned completely.
The gender ministry moved from Udyam (now Social Security) House that is owned by NSSF on Plot 4 Jinja Road to Simbamanyo House in early 2002.