Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has described Amirali Karmali, the proprietor of Mukwano Industries Uganda Limited as a great entrepreneur who executed acts of courage and love for Uganda.
In her condolence message to Amirali’s father, Kadaga says that the deceased has left an indelible mark in the hearts of many Ugandans.
The entrepreneur died quietly on Wednesday evening at his home in Kololo. Born in the 1930s, Karmali is the father to Alykhan Karmali, who is currently running the family business empire that spans real estate, banking, transport, and manufacturing.
“I have learnt with shock and sorrow the news of the death of Amirali Karmali. I have since known him as renowned businessman who has greatly contributed to the development of this country in all areas,” reads part of Kadaga’s message.
The history of the Mukwano Group goes back five generations to 1904, when Alimohamed Karmari, the father of Amirali, landed on the East African coast.
He made his way to Uganda and settled in Fort Portal in Western Uganda. It was his rapport with the local population that earned Alimohamed the nickname Mukwano, which means friendship in Kiganda.
He started a small business which, in the 1960s, gave birth to the transport business run by his son, Amirali Karmali.
Amirali later shifted his base to Kampala. He was one of the few Asians who stayed on in Uganda during Idi Amin’s military regime. Nonetheless, the uncertainty during the time could not allow many businesses, including Mukwano, achieve their potential.
It thrived on and up to date, Mukwano produces most of the household items used in Uganda, including personal care products such as the petroleum jelly, soap, washing powder, drinking water, plastics and edible cooking oil.
According to Mukwano Group of Companies, they employ 7,000 people directly and indirectly within the various companies they own.
It has also severally been recognized among the top taxpayers in the country. The group’s revenues have been estimated to top up to $300m annually.
Karmali will be laid to rest on Saturday after public viewing of his body at Kololo Independence Airstrip.