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Museveni set to bailout Aya hotel with Shs611b debt despite potholes in Kampala

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President Yoweri Museveni is set to bailout flamboyant but struggling businessman Muhammed Hamid of Pearl of Africa Hotel formerly Aya from being auctioned.

The Hotel has been on the market for auction by court auctioneers but failed to get a buyer. This has forced the owners to seek for government bailout through the presidential intervenetion. However, this gesture has enlisted bad public response as to why government or president should bailout the businessman at the time when the country is grappling with less funding as it has failed to fix roads in Kampala and other needs.

“I have been approached by Mohammed of Aya Investment (U)lTD Group regarding the imminent sale of his hotel due to his indebtness to Induustrial Development Corporation, South Africa. I have been informed that the sale has been sanctioned by courts having decided several cases in your favor. However, given that Pearl of Africa hotel is a strategic investment that was supported by government through land allocation and other benefits, government wishes to intervene so that the debt is paid instead of auctioning the hotel. I therefore, wish to hold a meeting with you to discuss other ways of recovering your loan instead of sellingthe hotel” Musevei wrote to Industrial DevelopmentCorporation of South Africa and copied to Mmarks Advocates the auctioneer’s lawyers.

He further added “I am therefore, directing that the auctioneers halt the sale of the hotel pending my meeting this month and by copy of this letter, I am directing my Principal Private Secretary to organize the meeting this month” reads the May 1, 2024 letter.

AyaInvestment Uganda was in September last year given an ultimatum of 30 days to save their 5 Star Hotel, the Pearl of Africa which has been set for sale by public auction. The Hotel Limited located at Nakasero Hill Road  Kampala

In a public notice on Monday, September 26, Armstrong Limited, government Court Bailiffs, auctioneers, and debt collectors on orders of M/S MMAKS Advocates and ENSafrica Advocates representing undisclosed Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd have put Pearl of Africa Hotel up for auction over a Shs611 billion debt it owes to a South African firm.

Pearl of Africa Hotel comprises LRV 3556 Folio 8 Plots 7A1-9A1 & 10 Lugard Road, and Plots M32, M183 & 2E Nakasero Hill Road  Kampala measuring approximately 5.975 Hectares.

“Upon instructions from the High Court of Uganda (Commercial Division) in Execution Misc. Application No. 275 of 2023 (arising from Arbitration Cause No. 12 of 2021 and High Court Misc. Cause No. 58 of 2021) Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd (Judgment Creditor) vs AYA Investments (U) Limited (Judgment Debtor), and M/S MMAKS Advocates and ENSafrica Advocates, Counsel for the Judgment Creditor, we shall proceed to sell the Property below together with all developments thereon by public auction pursuant to a Warrant of Attachment and Sale issued by the High Court of Uganda (Commercial Division) unless the Judgment Debtor pays to us the entire outstanding decretal sum (including interest) and our fees and costs before the fall of the hammer at the auction,” auctioneers said in an advertisement.

The Pearl of Hotel spans 32,000 square meters and comprises 23 floors, 296 rooms, 37 suites, two restaurants, three bars, nine meeting rooms, 15th-floor executive lounges, and a business center with all top-class 5-star amenities.

The sale by public auction comes after the Court of Appeal in  Kampala directed AYA Investment Uganda to pay Shs611 billion debt it owes to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a South African firm.

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