Mukwano Industries Tycoon is Dead.
Ugandan businessman Amirali Karmali (Mzee Mukwano), the proprietor of Mukwano Enterprises Uganda Ltd, has died at the age of 89 in Fort Portal. The entrepreneur died quietly on Wednesday evening.
Karmali, born in the 1930s is the father to Alykhan Karmali, who is currently running the family business empire that spans into real estate, banking, transport, and manufacturing.
The history of the Mukwano Group goes back to 1904 since 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 Luganda.
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 Dada’s military regime.
Nonetheless, the uncertainty during the time could not allow many businesses, including Mukwano achieve their potential.
In 2011, together with renowned industrialists the later Dr James Mulwana of Nice House of Plastics, Amirali Karmali was decorated with the ‘distinguished order of the Nile (class one) award’ for his distinct performance in production and enterprise development. Both men proved that in Uganda, one could start a business and it succeeds.
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.