Pakistan Honorary Consulate in Kampala, Uganda, Dr. Boney Katatumba, has this morning passed on.
According to the family he succumbed to pneumonia and asthma at International Hospital Kampala (IHK).
Family sources reveal Katatumba has been battling the ailments for quite sometime.
“He has been sickly for sometime. But it wasn’t really that serious. What has happened is really a big shock,” a family source said.
Burial arrangements are yet to be communicated.
HIS INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY
Boney Mwebesa Katatumba is one of Uganda’s richest entrepreneurs. He is famous for his relentless entrepreneurial skills that have seen rise from a little village boy from Mbarara to one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the country. At just the age of seven, Katatumba squeezed juice out of ripe bananas that he would sell to bus passengers travelling between Kabale, Mbabara and Kampala. The juice business was the spark that would later carve his long walk into an illustrious journey of empire building and self-molding.
Katatumba spent much of his early life in Mbarara, before moving to Kampala in the late 1960s.
In Mbarara, he drafted himself into the murky waters of business, which saw him buy a bicycle at an early age of only seven years. The bicycle became a symbol of success among his peers as only two bicycles; his and Mr Mwebesa’s (the headmaster), would dock under the big tree in the middle of Nyamitanga Catholic Parish Primary School compound. This built the foundation for Katatumba’s keen interest in business that would later see him venture where others would not.
In school, his parents worried about his continued poor performance, which twice made him to repeat Primary Two and Three, blaming his juice business as the main cause of trouble. However, in the later part of his primary education, Katatumba started to excel and would later be awarded a Shell BP scholarship.Katat
In his Senior Four vacation, Katatumba placed a bid to run Ankole Kingdom Nganwa Hostel after reading an advert that had been published inviting bids for the service. Given his age, this was indeed a daring move but fortunately, Katatumba won the bid and ran the hostel for two complete years, before moving to Kampala to take his studies atOld Kampala High School. Through George Ndebwa, Katatumba maintained a proxy business relationship as the latter managed the hostel on his behalf.
This, as he says, gave him the confidence to search for bigger opportunities that would drive him to a desired destiny.
At Makerere University, Katatumba juggled through a number of businesses, among them washing students’ clothes and cars. Back then, most roads outside the city were full of dust and mud, instead of smooth tarmac and he kept noticing that many cars travelling from upcountry were in desperate need of some soap and water. That’s how his mind conceived the idea of a car-washing business and after the success of his first branch, he expanded the number of branches around Kampala and using proceeds from this business, he bought his first car. Together with his brother, he also started a construction and building company – Design Construction Material (DCM), which would later see him work on a number of projects, including Kabale PTTC, Hotel Diplomat, and repairs on water tank reservoirs at Muyenga.
However, in 1974, Katatumba moved into voluntary exile leaving the country for Nairobi, Kenya, where he continued to muscle various businesses, including selling building and construction blocks through DCM and running Blackline Tours and Safaris that he had formed earlier in Kampala.
While in Nairobi, Katatumba established himself as a powerful businessman, buying five planes that he used to run his tour and safari company as well as training himself to fly a plane.
However, he later sold the planes to a Kenyan friend before moving back to Kampala in the early 1980s to build the Katatumba empire with a number of properties, including Blacklines House, Hotel Diplomat, Katatumba Resort Island and Katatumba Resort Hotel in Mbarara.pro01+pic
In 1999, the then Pakistan military ruler, Perves Musharraf, appointed Katatumba as the country’s top diplomat in Uganda after they had taken a decision to close its embassy here.
Katatumba had caught the military ruler’s eye after leading a number of business delegations to Pakistan while he was the president of the Uganda Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
However, as he says, Katatumba wondered how he could represent a country with such a strong Muslim background and without any pay since Musharraf had told him they would only give him the honour of representing the country but without any pay. Katatumba, a strong Christian, has for 16 years now represented the Pakistan community in Uganda, which has a population of more than 3,000 people.