The deepest pockets

By Michael Kanaabi and Ssebidde Kiryowa

According to internet sources, the per capita income in Uganda in 2009 was approximately $453 (sh1.1m) annually. An estimated 30% of the 33 million Ugandans live on less than $1 (sh2,450) per day. Under those circumstances, wealth that would not merit mention in wealthier communities attracts a lot of attention in Ugandan circles.

That means the people we scream about in our society pages half the time do not even warrant mention anywhere else in the world. But that is not to say we do not have a few ‘world class’ rich people in Uganda.

Compiled here is a list of individuals in Uganda whose accumulated assets (anything tangible or intangible that can be converted into or controlled to produce cash) are known to be markedly above the rest of the individuals in the country. The list is not exhaustive and net worth (the total assets minus total outside liabilities of an individual) values are hard to determine.

The list, compiled largely with the help of Internet and sources in the know, is loosely based on seven classes of wealthy individuals: The New Money Class (these acquired their wealth within the last 15 years), The Young Entrepreneurs (less than 50 years old), The Executive Class (CEOs and managing directors of government departments and private firms), The Expatriates (non-Ugandans though some may have dual citizenship), the Pastors, The Old Money Class (individuals who inherited their wealth that has run in their families for generations) and The Super Rich.
The super rich
These are guys whose wealth is internationally-recognised


Sudhir Ruparelia
He is reportedly the biggest landlord in Kampala after the central and Buganda kingdom governments. His worth is estimated to be between $550m and $800m (sh1 to sh2 trillion). Ruparelia was once a supermarket attendant and cab driver in London. Most pundits say he made a killing from his ‘Get Rich Quick’ lottery that had millions of Ugandans scratching for money in the mid-1990s.

Ruparelia’s major assets include Crane Bank, Speke Hotel, Kabira Country Club, Munyonyo Country Resort and many more in Dubai and the UK. With his wealth,  the Energy ministry  could construct two 600 MW dams like Karuma (allocated sh800 billion).  Karuma alone will save Uganda and its neighbors from load shedding.

Amiral Karmali aka Mukwano
His wealth is estimated to have hit the $700m (sh1.5 trillion) mark. His products from soap, cooking oil, plastics, tea leaves, toilet paper are household names. With new factories recently set up, including a big one in Tanzania and huge real estate properties increasing by the day around Kampala, the retired Karmali and his family are definitely wealthy by any standards in the world.  Their wealth is bigger than Ministry of Education budget that covers UPE, USE and public universities at sh1.3 trillion.

The Madhvani family
Named among the 1,000 wealthiest families in the UK, the Madhvanis as a family holding are estimated to be worth over $500m (sh1.25 trillion), with key assets being their Kakira Sugar estate, soap and tea manufacturing company plus an insurance company. The Madhvani group also has vast interests in tourism, with CNN recently voting their breathtaking Chobe Lodge gym fifth best in the world.  With their wealth, Uganda can fund the entire road sector for a year.

The Mehtas
With their backbone in Uganda being their vast Lugazi Sugar estate, the Mehtas are also into industry and manufacture of cables and steel, among other products. This family also has other businesses in the US, India and Canada, with their estimated net worth being above the $400m mark.

Gordon Wavamuno

He owns the local franchise of the Mercedes Benz brand. He also owns one of the first private TV stations in the country — WBS TV. He is estimated to be worth over $100m.
 
 Mukesh Shukla
He was in the news recently after acquiring the Katatumba Suites and turning it into Shumuk House, a name he uses for his Shumuk Group of Companies albeit controversially. The shrewd money lender owns many warehouses and bonds on top of importing cars, dealing in forex, aluminium and steel and hotels. Our estimates put his net worth at $100m.

Sikander Lalani
We all know the Roofings Steel Group that recently opened another steel plant in Namanve with total investment in both plants above $100m. Lalani, a Briton of Asian origin, has an estimated net worth of over $100m.

Charles Mbire
With interests in financial management, railways, ports, telecommunications, power, banking and real estate, this elusive tycoon who likes to keep a low profile, is worth over $200m. He is still the only Ugandan shareholder in MTN’s Ugandan and Rwandan business to date. He is dubbed the ‘king of energy in Uganda’, having stakes and interests in Eskom Uganda, Aggreko and Jacobsen, among other energy firms. He also has interests in oil in Kazakhstan as well as  investments in South Africa and Tanzania among other places.

Patrick Bitature
Bitature has extended his airtime distribution franchise from East and Central Africa to Nigeria. He has also moved into aviation, real estate, media, energy, forex trading, insurance, pay TV and electronics. He also owns commercial and residential properties. He is worth about $100m (about sh220b) almost twice the paltry sh133b given to the National Agricultural Advisory Services for the improvement and boosting of agricultural services, which is the key livelihood of over 80% of Uganda’s population.    

 Abid Alam and the Alam family
These are another of the entrenched industrialist families in Uganda and Kenya with massive interests in steel and related products under the stewardship of group chairman Abid Alam. The group is now into tourism as well. They also recently started a sugar plantation and factory in Mayuge district. Our estimates put them just around the $100m mark.

Karim Hirji
While his fortune is said to be declining, the man, who started out as a garments trader in downtown Kampala in the 1970s, is still one of the top hoteliers in the country. He owns the Imperial hotels, Imperial Insurance, Imperial Forex on top of other businesses and properties through his Dembe Group. We put him around the $100m mark.

Also on this list: Aya brothers ($100m), BMK, Basajjabalaba, Isabirye Mugoya,  Kibuka Musoke and  Muhammed Alibhai

The women
Amina Hersi
She is the owner of hardware trading giant Kingstone Enteprises and Oasis Mall.
Morine Wavamunno
Executive director, Wavamunno group of companies
Juliana Adyeri
She is founder of Delight Uganda, which makes Cheers juice.
Agnes Babirye Namubiru
She is the proprietor of HB Towers.
Hajat Sarah Kiyimba
She owns Hotel Brovad, Masaka and other prime properties.
Maria Kiwanuka
She is the proprietor of Radio One and Akaboozi ku Bbiri besides being Uganda’s finance minister.
Mariam Luyombo, owns the famous Taibah schools.
Jyostna Ruparelia, director, Ruparelia Group


The Kwagalana group
This is a group of about 40 tycoons who own almost all the real estate in the city centre.

Guster Ntake
He became famous through his Ntake Bakery and has moved on to own a number of buildings in and out of town, including Nalule Arcade.  
Matovu Yanga
He owns Suncity Arcade, another building on Luwum Street and Cooper Complex.
 Godfrey Kirumira
He is the chairman of the group and could be the wealthiest. Apart from Kirumira Towers, he owns Royal Complex, a bus company, GKO security, Gelp Petroleum, Hotel Havana, Hotel International and many other properties. He net worth is about $30m.
Mutasa
Kafero
He is the owner of Mutasa Kafeero Plaza and a number of other businesses.
Dick Kizito
He owns Kizito Towers and other properties.
Drake Lubega

New Money class

Bob Kabonero
Apart from his Kampala and Pyramid casinos, Kabonero has an airtime distribution franchise etc and could be worth $50m.

 Emmanuel Katongole
He made headlines as the CEO of the first ARV factory in Africa, an investment worth $100m in Luzira. He is also a director in Quality Chemicals and owns a beverages and food processing firm. Net worth is over $25m.  

 Abu Mukasa
The only official Ugandan shareholder in Orange Telecom, Mukasa is said to own over 40 sq miles of land along Lake Victoria shores. Net worth estimate is $20m.

Anatoli Kamugisha
 He is the real estate revolutionary behind Akright projects. His networth is about $15m.
Aponye
He made his money exporting grain to Sudan. He also owns a construction firm and a hotel. He is worth about $20m. 

Elvis Sekyanzi
He is a director in Silk Events, WBS TV, Wavah Water, Radio and Club Silk etc. He is worth about $8m.

Ponsiano Ngabirano
The man behind the Capital Shoppers chain of supermarkets is estimated to be worth $20m.

  Joseph Magandazi
The Jomayi Company proprietor could be worth about $10m.

Minaj Barot
His is the new name in uptown real estate, with shopping malls, office blocks and apartments in Kampala’s top suburbs. He is worth about $15m.

Moses Matsiko
His companies include Water Tight Security and Pinnacle Group. He is also a majority shareholder in T1 events. He could be worth about $5m.

Aga Sekalala Junior
He is a director in Silk events and Radio Simba, among other  businesses. He is worth about $8m.

Andrew Rugasira
Good African and Rwenzori coffee are his brands. He started out as an events promoter and studio owner. He later ventured into advertising before he sold off his interests and joined the coffee business that has taken him global. He could be worth about $10m.


Ashish Thakar
Believed to be the richest Ugandan under 30, he is the owner of RAA group of companies. He also owns Mara Group, the majority owner of Kensington Estates in Uganda, Ghana and Dubai. He is worth about $35m.  

Others include: Charlie Lubega, Andrew Mwenda, Lt Col. Benjamin Kalizibwe, Aggrey Tumukye, Acaali Kobusingye, Ali Halari Kamru, Aminah Senankya Kiberu, Apollo Ntegamahe, Bernard Ogwang Ocwoo, Bosco Ogwang Edola, Christopher Nakabale, Chris Kafule, Elisha Kakyomya, Emmanuel Amaza, Felix Orii, Francis Magezi, Fred Akampumuza, George Atyam, George Kahwa, George Kermudu Adubango, George Namachi, Glueport Sande, Haruna Musiwa, Herman Kigoye MD, Johnson Ocol, Josephine Kizza, Kakanyero, Kayonza, Kellen Kayonga, Michael Awany, Moses Kyatwoha, Olet Elyak, Omar Mandela, Patrick Lucky, Phillip Mangeni Aremo, Sarah Kiyimba, Sebastian Munulo, Stephen Mugasa, Sulaiman Mafabi Lumolo and Vincent Opio



Old money
Many of these people actually fall in the Super Rich class. They were minting money when some of our parents were still in diapers
Bonny Katatumba
The Honorary Consul of the Republic of Pakistan owns Hotel Diplomate and a number of other properties both in and out of Uganda.
Mohan Kiwanuka
He redeveloped a lot of old property in the prestigious Kololo suburb. He also owns Oscar Industries.
Joseph Roy Zziwa
The flight captain’s vast Conrad Properties are raking in dollars.
Aga Sekalala Senior
He owns Ugachick and Sekalala Enterprises from where he made his fortune way back selling agro supplies.
James Mulwana
He owns Uganda Batteries, Jesa Farm and Nice House of Plastics. 
Dr. Martin Aliker
He has shares in some of the big corporate firms in town.
Dr. William Kalema

William S. Kalema was Board Chairman of the dfcu between 1998 - 2007. He also served as Chairman of the Board of the Uganda Investment Authority since 1998. He is also a member of the Divestiture Reform and Implementation Committee (DRIC).
 
He is a trustee and the Chairman Board of the Uganda Gatsby Trust, a charitable institution that supports collaborative programs between ths Faculty of Engineering at Makerere University and small and medium Enterprises in Uganda. William worked as a Research Engineer and a business analyst in several divisions of the Du pant Company based in Delaware, USA, and as metallurgical engineer in the Zambian copper mining industry.
 
Dr. Kalema had his undergraduate education at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, England.He holds a Masters and Bachelors degree in chemical engineering from Cambridge and a Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from Carlifornia Institute of Technology.

Ssebana Kizito
He owns big chunks of land in Kampala. He is the majority shareholder in State wide Insurance and other properties and businesses in and out of Uganda.                                                                                                                                                               Haji Musa Katongole
He is the chairman of Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association.
Kadu Kiberu
He owns Peacock Paints Company
Amos Nzeyi
He owns Crown beverages and Hot Loaf, National Bank of Commerce, Inscor Uganda Limited (foods)
 Kayonza Ssezi Mitegyeko
He owns Kayonza Distributors of airtime, cement, furniture, etc

Kwagalana young
These are upcoming friends and children of the original Kwagalana Group. They include Godfrey Kirumira’s younger brother Moses Kalungi, Brigadier Elly Kayanja’s younger brother Flex Kabuye and Tom Kaya of the famous Kaki Investments that not only owns a fleet of over 100 taxis, imports spare parts, but also runs a huge motor garage, petrol station and money lending business.


Education     
Lawrence Mukiibi
Lawrence Mulindwa
Dr. John Chrysostom Muyingo

Transport
Charles Muhangi
Tom Mugenga
Ben Mugasa

Regional
Sam Engola, north
Richard Byaruhanga, western
Ernest Kiiza, western
Steven Njubi, eastern
Budget Mugabirwe, eastern

Corporates
Philip Odere
Juma Kisame
Allen Kagina
Jennifer Musisi
Edigold Monday                                                                                                                                                                                       Richard Byarugaba
Ivan Kyayonka
Robert Kabushenga
Charles Hamya

CHURCH
Cyprian Bamwoze
PaulKasoma                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Gary Skinner
Imelda Namutebi
K. L. Dickson
Robert Kayanja

Construction
Kagga
Rtd Col. John Mugyenyi
Crescent Baguma
Paul Kasaga
Arch Henry Ssentongo

 
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Comments
karuhanga | kampal
I think you should give authentic figures rather using speculative wikipedia info which we all can generate. please style up.........
kisakye h | london
It''s goo to announce the wealthy just they mention the famous either for good or bad. Those also in need can know who to go to and where to go for any financial or material need.i only pray that they will be kind and move with compassion to meet the needs of those who approach them with their reasonable needs.God bless and increase you and provide for all that need a helping hand.
Kilembe | Kampala
Despite the barrage of negative comments, i think kanaabi and kiryowa, or shall I say wikipedia ought to have also stated the ages of these people. this would have put the list further into perspective so that the young and those aspiring to be like them can set realistic targets which they shall come to understand have to be achieved over time and with hard and shrewd work!
Judie | Mbarara
Come on people, Uganda is just 49 years old. We still have a subtle neo-colonial bad blood vivid in our midst. We will get there, but we have 2 have selfless & uncompromising leaders 2 be completely free from invisible blood suckers. Uganda''s challenge: Less emphasis is put on our dire national priorities, education, infrastructure & accountability, an educated population is an emancipated population.
jommy | KAMPALA
ANY WAY I THINK YOU GUYS YOU NEVER TOOK A CHANCE TO KNOW PEOPLE LIKE MUKO DOMI LUBEGA AND SALEH
Busagwa | Berlin/Germany
Rich People around the World dont talk abou wealth they invest in Development to maku a Country Competitive in the Region! How many Airports has Sudhir Built in Uganda? Where are The Fleets of Airlines both Cargo and Passengers? Where is the Railway Net-Work or Road Complex to serve the needs of infrastructure and Boost Economy? All these So called Rich are Gluttons and Scavengers not interested in Seeing Uganda Develop!! Bill-Gates can Buy the whole of Uganda and Turn it into a Game-Reserve..Sudhir and Company ends up in a Zoo!!Style Up and Copy others to Produce and Supply instead of Milking!!
Nanfumba | New York
SHAME on you New vision with your selfish agendas such reports reflects on the integrity and credibility of news reporting and proves the crass and ill inapt professionalism intended for selfish ends. We want to know the BIG FISH! Mention their Names we want to know how Kayihura is worth, Salim Sale, Museveni and their Families. The Kuteesas, the Mbabazis etc. we want to know! How about Tumusiime Mutebire, or Nassasila, Rugundas, otafires and such who have been BOU governers and ministers for life . If you cannot do that, then concentrate on this below instead and list it! Also talk about hard working Ugandans who are losing it all or Lost everything due to corruption. Please mention the indigenous workers who lost property in the war to bring in this government especially in Luwero, the true Business men who Started Buszabaganda, The Kikuubo as known today, or the Sembules and all the rich men from Masaka, innovations like Greenland Bank etc.
ose | Oslo
if one is to scrutinize how most of the listed people got rich is through corruption 100% , highway robbery and other unscrupulous business.This accounts why most Ugandans still survive on less than one dollar a day. If resources were well distributed then most of the people on the list and those they have not mentioned would not surface any where. Most prominent buildings have stories behind like child sacrifice etc. So i hate this kind of rating. Even the pastors them selves have dirty business behind their alters. Others have stolen the innocents'' property. Y do you think there are so many cases in the court that are between the rich and the poor? And its obvious in poor country like Uganda that the rich will win the case because of bribery.
Nkwenge | Fort Portal
Why do you exclude the political class?
Tony | Kampala
Sudhir made his money the dirty way. Recall his money laundring and other illegal activit. Wawamuno is said to have been involved in a bullion case in the past. It is always said behind all big money there is a crime. Have you ever attended any of the party of Sudhir - only one word lavish. They dont mind throwing the money as it in not hard earned. Ask some one who has sweted to earn he will not break up his house and at the same time give a house breaking party.
Stephane | Juba
This is so funny. If you asked who pays the highest taxes and its the poorest! And who bribes and cheats through tax evasion, the so called rich take polls. Today the bank interest rates have gone so high in Uganda. We can see the list is dominated by African Asians and MUSEVEN is not there, Salim sale is missing becouse of image protection. Dooes that mean they they cant raise up to 10 Million Dollars?.
Mansour | Kampala
Exaggerated!!!
Issis | Kampala
How does this qualify as news? Is this in the print issue? What a waste of space. How does an establishment like the New Vision base an article on “internet sources"? And just to emphasis what lazy writing this, for anybody interested their main source is Wikipedia.
Tim | Newcastle upon Tyne
During my education, I was told that that Plagiarism is an offence. Most of this work(if not all) has been taken from Wikipedia. Surpringly, its not cited!!
SSENYONJO SIMON | Dubai
How about the likes of Gen.Saleh,kutesa and others , metion these people
SEAN | LONDON
What about our own chairman Bassajabalaba brilliant business guru per excellence? We have pumped tax payer billions into his enterprises for over a decade. How much is he worth?
Tim | Kampala
This is very serious! Apart from those listed under CHURCH, check your selves and see whether you would be allowed to enter Heaven and live with Jesus in eternity if you dropped dead now as you read this comment. It will be very difficult for a rich man to Enter Heaven. It is not bad to be rich but most rich pple tend to trust their money and forget life after death. Be warned.
kizito | Kampala
This is a big joke the combined wealth can''t pass the 4bn dollar mark. A company like BP(British petroleum) posted 5.5 bn dollars as profit in the first quarter of 2011.I think we should work harder,smarter and promote innovation.
Asher | chester
Looks like the list has only hard working Ugandan rich; how about the list of top stealing rich? even the most obvious ones are not mentioned. Come''on New Vision!!
Mass | Kampala
But where are the likes of BAD BLACK, MEDDIE SENTONGO, EZRA who showoff by spending the little they have like there is nothing to invest the money in? i thought they were also worth millions of dollars.
edgar k | kampa
how come my name was not listed..maybe because am below 18
Michael Lugonja | Jinja
This is a bunch of BS. lol i hear sudhir is worth half a billion.
lwalinda | seoul
And who is the richest politician in Uganda? I read about Mbabazi not be among the poor to take bribe.....
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