Businessman Alykhan Karmali has dismissed reports claiming that he is leaving Uganda.
He was responding to social media reports claiming that he had out of frustration and a “hostile environment” sold Acacia Mall and would soon relocate to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
An entrepreneur, industrialist, and philanthropist, Karmali is the managing director of Mukwano Industries Uganda Limited, a member company of the Mukwano Group.
He has previously served as a non-executive director of Exim Bank (Uganda), a commercial bank in which the Mukwano Group maintains 36.5 percent shareholding.
The social media rumours further claimed that Karmali, through his Gulfstream Investments Limited, had sold all his real estate in Uganda.
“That is fake news, I’m going nowhere,” Karmali said when contacted by SoftPower News.
He added: “If anything, I am expanding locally and regionally.”
The Karmali family are Ugandans who have lived in Uganda for over 100 years.
Ali Mohamed Karmali, Alykhan’s paternal grandfather, was an entrepreneur of Indian descent who migrated to Uganda circa 1904. He worked as a shop assistant in Jinja before shifting to Mbarara in Uganda’s Western Region.
Later, he settled in Bukandula in the present-day Gomba District in the Buganda Region of Uganda, where “in partnership with other Asian families, he did a roaring trade in cotton and coffee”. He had so many friends that he was locally nicknamed “Mukwano gwa Bangi” (Friend of Many).
The family shortened it to “Mukwano” and named the family business after him. Amirali Karmali, Alikhan’s father died on 10 July 2019 at Kololo, an upscale neighbourhood in Kampala.
He was buried in a cemetery in the same neighbourhood, on Saturday 13 July 2019. In 1995, Amirali handed over the family business to his son, Alykhan.