By PATRICK JARAMOGI
KAMPALA, Uganda |SHIFTMEDIA| The Office of the President has intervened and halted a looming forced eviction following an ‘illegal’ sale of a property belonging to a city businessman by Equity Bank.
The victim is Harrison Busingye the Managing Director of Hydra Homes Uganda Limited.
We reported in this investigative news site in November 2021 how Equity Bank’s plan to offset Busingye’s posh house located in Plot 4529 Block 244 Kyadondo in Muyenga was thwarted by police.
What we reported then was a case of a distressed client who had gone through “hell” due to harassment imposed on him by court bailiffs working on instructions of Equity Bank. The victim, a city businessman Harrison Busingye stood in as a guarantor for his brother who acquired a loan from Equity Bank way back in 2018.
As a guarantor, the bank demanded that Busingye mortgages a title as security for the loan. His brother, Nathan Mwesigye took a loan of Ugx350m. The security that Busingye staked was that of a title of a residential apartment worth Ugx 4.5b located in an upscale Kampala suburb in Muyenga.
Quick forward, when the loan payment became slow, the Equity bank on top of selling off the trucks (worth shs250 million each) of the loan defaulter, and also went ahead to attach the property of the guarantor.
Using Excel Auctioneers and Court Bailiffs, Equity bank threatened to advertise the Muyenga house if he (Busingye) doesn’t pay up in seven days.
Using his lawyers, Busingye petitioned the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) instructed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to investigate the anomalies. The CID did its part and found out that Harrison Busingye didn’t take any loan, declaring the sale of his property illegal.
Around December 2021 Naboth Atamba who works for Excel Court Bailiffs working on orders of Equity Bank wrote to Busingye threatening to sale his property if he doesn’t pay the outstanding loan within seven days. The victim through his lawyers sued the bank and petitioned the Director CID to intervene. The bailiffs and the bank remained adamant.
Property sold off
On December 17, 2021, Excel Bailiffs working on orders of Equity Bank wrote to Harrison Busingye informing him that his property located on Plot 4529 Block 244 in Muyenga had changed hands hence he had seven days to vacate or be forced out.
Apparently, the bank had illegally sold off the posh building valued at Ugx4.5 billion.
This prompted Busingye to deploy armed guards with explicit orders to ‘SHOOT TO KILL” any intruders.
Earlier this week, one Atamba working with Excel Bailiffs and Auctioneers stormed Plot 4529 Block 244 in Muyenga where a verbal exchange ensued. Feeling more strong, Busingye petitioned President Museveni who instructed the area Resident City Commissioner to take action.
President’s Office takes action
In a communication dated January 3 2022 vide (D/RCC/ADMIN/01/22) that we obtained the Makindye Deputy City Commissioner Keita K Doreen wrote to the Commander Kampala Metropolitan South, where Muyenga falls instructing him to deploy security in the contentious property until the case is disposed of in court.
Keita Noted; “There are encumbrances in the said land between Hydra Homes Limited, Mr. Busingye Harrison, Equity Bank (U) and a one Mr. Atamba. Excel Bailiffs and Auctioneer claim that the said land was “disposed of’.
“However Mr. Busingye Harrison says he has no debt with Equity bank and owes no one any money and the case is in court. The reason for this letter is to kindly request you to provide security on the said property until proper channels are sought/court pronounces itself on same.”
Equity Bank declines to respond
Our frantic calls to management of Equity Bank, especially Jimmy A. Mwangangi, the Head of Credit, and Elizabeth Nayiga Wamala, the Legal Senior Manager were futile. similarly, Naboth Atamba, the man behind the harassment said he was working on orders of his client, Equity Bank