KAMPALA – City tycoon Sudhir Ruparelia has officially renamed former Simbamanyo House located at Plot 2 Lumumba Avenue to Gender & Labor House.
The renaming process of the multibillion property was concluded this week, giving it a facelift and complete makeover.
The building, now under the management of Meera Investments Ltd of Ruparelia Group houses the Ministry of Labor, Gender and Social Development among other tenants.
Mr. Sudhir acquired the building in October 2020 for UGX18.5b from Equity Bank after the previous owner Architect Peter Kamya defaulted on a bank loan. Mr Kamya also lost Afrique Suites in Mutungo that Equity Bank sold to Luwaluwa Investments.
Both the High Court and Court of Appeal has cleared the acquisition of the top city property by Sudhir’s Meera Investments Ltd.
After losing a Court Appeal application that tried to reverse the sale of Simbamanyo House and Afrique Suites, Mr. Kamya then sought the intervention of President Museveni.
President Museveni on September 3, directed the Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile to investigate circumstances under which Equity Bank sold the properties after Mr. Kamya and his wife petitioned the president.
But a BOU report, tracing the chronology of the events indicate that Mr. Kamya’s troubles started way back in 2016 long before the Covid-19 pandemic, one of the major reasons the city businessman gave for his failure to meet his loan obligations as justification for the President’s intervention.
The BoU report also shows that Mr. Kamya continued to receive billions of rent payments until May 2020, but did not remit any for his loan obligations.
The report was Bank of Uganda’s representation to President Museveni, following his directive for an investigation and presents Mr. Kamya’s version of the events was misleading after losing successive court battles that started with him suing Equity Bank, after he was pressed to honor his obligations.
The BoU report indicates that between 2012-2014, the Mr. Kamya took a loan in excess of $7.1 million before interest and secured the said facilities by mortgaging LRV 2220 Plot 2 folio Lumumba Avenue (Simbamanyo House) and properties comprised in Kyadondo block 243 Plots 95, 958,2794,17800 and block 237 Plot 95 land at Mutungo (Afrique Suites).