Meera Investment Ltd, a prominent East African property developer led by Uganda’s richest man, Sudhir Ruparelia, has filed a lawsuit against the Development Finance Company of Uganda Bank Limited (dfcu Bank) for $8.66 million in rent arrears.
According to court documents, the demand for the rent arrears is due to a breach of the tenancy agreement, in respect of the properties at plots 38 and 40A Kampala Road.
The property at Plot 38 Kampala Road was the headquarters and main branch of the defunct Crane Bank.
The lawsuit has been filed as the developer demands the bank to pay the rent on account of being the successor in title to Crane Bank Limited (now in receivership) as a tenant on the premises.
The ongoing trial is being presided over by Stephen Mubiru, in the Commercial Court. Sudhir Ruparelia has stated that at the time of execution of the tenancy agreement by December 2014, Meera was a separate legal entity from Crane Bank Ltd.
Ruparelia, who was one of the shareholders of defunct Crane Bank, says the rent is in respect of the floors occupied by dfcu, and that the tenancy agreement between Meera and Crane Bank Limited (in receivership), which is scheduled to expire on March 31, 2024, has no clause for the termination in the contract.
“The agreement was a fixed tenancy for 10 years for six floors, which binds the successor, dfcu, which continued occupying the premises. The rentals were not an excluded liability,” he said.
What you should know about Uganda’s richest man, Sudhir Ruparelia
Ruparelia, Uganda’s richest man with a $1.1-billion net worth in 2012, is the chairman and founder of The Ruparelia Group, a group that specializes in education, real estate development and management, hotels, resorts, floriculture, and broadcasting.
He is also the founder of Meera Investments, a leading property developer which has built a reputation with its innovative ideas in real estate, particularly in property development and construction, throughout Kampala, Uganda.
Under the leadership of Ruparelia, Meera Investments has become one of the biggest landlords and the leading property developers in the East African region.
The company focuses on effective and efficient solutions in all aspects of property development from design to finish, to achieve maximum usage and productivity.