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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

How fallen freedom fighter’s wife got in trouble with bank over multi-billion loan

President Yoweri Museveni has written to Housing Finance Bank demanding a review of terms for the repayment of a loan defaulted by Ida May Kwesiga.

Kwesiga is wife to the late Eng Samwiri Mishambi Kwesiga, a man Museveni hails for his role in the National Resistance Army (NRA) liberation struggle.

The president describes Eng Kwesiga as “a comrade.”

In a letter dated September 09, Museveni informs Housing Finance Bank managing director Michael K Mugabi that Kwesiga sought his intervention in a loan repayment controversy.

The financial institution has moved to sell Kwesiga’s property, comprised in Freehold Register Volume (FRV) 212 Folio 22, Plot 35, Nakasero Kyadondo Road in Kampala, after she failed to clear a multi-billion loan the bank had given her.

Paying tribute to the late Eng Kwesiga for offering support to the NRA liberation struggle, Museveni tells MD Mugabi that he is aware that financial institutions set terms and conditions for their loans, clearly spelling out what should be done in case one defaults.

But he asks the top bank’s boss to give Kwesiga’s widow a chance to sell the property herself and pay them within two months.

THE GENESIS

Kwesiga, who owns Mayflower Apartments, recently sued HFB and Balaji Group East Africa Limited in the Land Division of the High Court in Kampala over the sale of her property over a $2.7m loan that she had taken in 2013 to build apartments, and had promised to pay back the money in 10 years.

But after failing to pay the money, the bank issued Kwesiga with a notice of default on July 03, 2019; a notice of sale against of the mortgaged property on September 09, 2019, and published an advert for the sale of the mortgaged property on October 15, 2019. 

However, days later, Kwesiga ran to court seeking a review of the loan, arguing that it had been extended on unconscionable terms, misrepresentation of facts by members and she was not given an opportunity for representation by an independent financial advisor.

 Court would later issue an order against the sale of the property pending the disposal of the case for mortgage review, but Kwesiga says she was shocked to learn that the bank had sold the property to Balaji Group East Africa Limited in total disregard of the court order and directives against land and property transaction during the Covid19 crisis.

“The first defendant [Housing Finance Bank] without re-issuing default notices, re-advertising or re-evaluating to ascertain the current market value, proceeded and sold the suit property to the second defendant [Balaji Group East Africa Limited],” says Kwesiga in her application.

“The plaintiff has just come to learn that the property was sold to Balaji Group East Africa Limited despite having a court order and being aware of the current Covid-19 situation that has affected the entire economy.”

The reason Museveni wants Housing Finance Bank to allow Kwesiga to sell her property and pay the financial institution is because she told the president the bank sold her property at a lower price.

Kwesiga faults the bank for failure to re-advertise the property again. She now wants court to nullify the sale of her property.

“The plaintiff prays for judgment against the defendant for a declaration that the sale of land and properties at Kyadondo Road Nakasero to the second defendant [Balaji Group East Africa Limited] be set aside for being unlawfully and fraudulently done.”

Museveni's letter to Housing Finance bank
Museveni’s letter to Housing Finance bank Courtesy photo

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