Pearl of Africa Hotel, a prestigious five-star establishment in Uganda, is set for auction due to unpaid debts amounting to over Shs600 billion. The hotel, situated on Nakasero Hill, is owned by Aya Investments.
The High Court issued an attachment and sale order for the hotel, which belongs to businessman Mohammed Hamid. He had borrowed money from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa and failed to repay the loan.
A notice published in the Daily Monitor newspaper has set the auction date for October 26. The sale will proceed unless the outstanding debt is settled.
The notice stated, “We shall proceed to sell the property, along with all its developments, by public auction as per the High Court of Uganda’s warrant of Attachment and Sale unless the debtor pays the entire outstanding sum, including interest, and associated fees and costs before the auction.”
The Pearl of Africa Hotel boasts impressive features, spanning 32,000 square meters with 23 floors, 296 rooms, 37 suites, two restaurants, three bars, and nine meeting rooms. Located on Nakasero Hill, it offers a remarkable vantage point at an altitude of 1,240 meters, providing a 360-degree view of Kampala City.
An anonymous lawyer from MMAKS Advocates, representing the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa, expressed their reluctance to settle, citing over a decade of non-payment by Aya Investments. They stated, “The debtor has never made any payments for more than 10 years since he received the money. Therefore, an amicable settlement would not be an option.”
Mr. Gibson Munanura, the lawyer representing Aya Investments, declined to comment, stating that he had not received instructions from his client.
The South African entity is seeking to recover more than Shs600 billion, which includes both interest and the principal sum, from Aya Investments. This legal action follows a loan granted to Aya Investments in 2007 for the construction of the hotel.
High Court deputy registrar Catherine Agwero, in a ruling last Friday, ordered the indebted businessman to provide property title certificates. The order allows the attachment and sale of various properties at Nakasero Hill, including the hotel and its developments.