Businessman and chairman of Simba Group of Companies, Patrick Bitature, has said the stories about his business failings are an unsubstantiated tale that seek to hurt and malign him as a person.
In a statement released on Friday Bitature said he had been compelled to clear the air due to the unending rumour on social media and online publication in regard to the status of Simba Group on Companies.
“The stories you read tell a malevolent, unsubstantiated tale that seek to hurt and malign my person and my business without due consideration to the repercussions that story would have on our business stability, partner confidence and employee source of job security,” Bitature said, adding that Simba Group is “committed to the continuous growth it has enjoyed since 1996.
Simba Group of Companies has been a source of unsubstantiated news indicating that the company was in a bad financial position.
However, Batitura didn’t substantiate on bad loans held in different banks including the Shs150b debt held in former Crane Bank, whose assets and liabilities were last month transferred to Dfcu.
Crane Bank was in October last year taken over by Bank of Uganda after it fell below the Shs25b minimum capital requirement.
The Shs150b loan secured by Simba Group of Companies is listed as one of the non-performing loans in the former Crane Bank, whose servicing has not been according to schedule since mid-last year.
Bitature is also claimed to have led a campaign that had sought almost Shs1 trillion from government to save distressed companies.
However, he denies having been part of the campaign that listed 24 large companies as being under the threat of collapse due failure to service loans as well as meeting operation costs.
In the statement Bitature also said that the company will in about six months open another hotel – Marriot Naguru Sky – in Naguru, Kampala.
Protea Uganda is a subsidiary run under the Marriot franchise, a South Africa-based hotel and leisure business.
Simba Group runs a consortium of four businesses – Simba Tours & Travel, Simba Telecom, Eletro-maxx and Protea Hotel and employs more than 1,000 people.
Bitature said Simba Group has the tenacity to fly through any storm, an indication that the company, although not substantiated, could have been hit by a slowdown in economic growth that has been characterized by low sales, high cost of business and contracted customer purchasing power.