By Hanning Mbabazi
Kampala: A somber mood engulfed Kololo Airstrip on Saturday 13 July as hundreds thronged the house to pay their last respects to Amirali Karmali commonly known as Mukwano.
Mukwano’s body arrived in a convoy escorted by a brass band and family members.
Hundreds of mourners who included employees of Mukwano Group of companies, Government officials, Diplomats among among braved the downpour to pay their last respects.
President Yoweri Museveni described the late Amarali Karmali Mukwano as a national hero who had greatly contributed to the growth of the country in key sectors like industrialisation, agriculture development, education and health.
President Museveni in a speech read for him by Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi during the public viewing of the late Mukwano’s body at Kololo Independence ground said that a number of businesspersons have been directly groomed by the late business mogul and whose acumen has given employment to Ugandans up to two generations of their Grandchildren.
Uganda’s Attorney General William Byaruhanga said that most development in Bunyoro and Toro kingdoms have attachment with the late mukwano especially tea development in the region.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga described Amirali Karmali as a great entrepreneur who executed acts of courage and love for Uganda.
In her condolence message to Amirali’s father, Kadaga said that the deceased left an indelible mark in the hearts of many Ugandans.
“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.
Partrick Bitatute the proprietor of Simba Telecom and the Master of Ceremony said that the late Mukwano took him on as his child and educated him both in Uganda and abroad and attributed his successes to him.
Salim Muhamad a friend who has known Mukwano for more than 15 years said Amirali was so much involved in Charity work and trying to lift the standards of living of people. He says Mukwano was a humble man, who lifted many people through his business, adding that Mukwano will be remembered for honesty and integrity.
Bahbin Patel, a distributor of Mukwano products in Soroti District said Mukwano left a legacy of humility in the business community that Ugandans can emulate.
John Hibuji, who’ve worked for over 30 years with the deceased, said Mukwano had love for staff. He says when it came to staff welfare, it was a priority.
Irene Debora said, it’s sad Mukwano died and she had never seen him despite growing up while using his products, she said Mukwano products really stood out in the business community because he identified with the community.
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.