By Mirembe Martina
James Mulwana who died today at 5:00am after being admitted at Nakasero hospital has left the business world in turmoil. His death has left many shocked and in awe over what he had achieved in his 76 years in life.
Mulwana was born James Mulwana on 24th July 1936 and was a Ugandan by nationality. He died at the age of 76 and is survived by a wife and three children.
He started his business empire way back in 1961 in the import and export business. In 1990, he gained full ownership of Uganda Batteries Limited, an automotive battery manufacturing entity. Uganda Batteries was established in 1967, as Associated Battery Manufacturers Limited in
partnership with Chloride (UK) Limited.
In 1970, he established Ship toothbrush factory Limited. The name was later changed to Nice House of Plastics Limited on January 5,1995. Nice House of Plastics is a manufacturing company which manufactures toothbrushes, household products, writing instruments like ball pens, packaging products soda and beer crates, jerry cans) as well as agricultural equipment (knapsack sprayers).
He went ahead and founded Jesa Mixed Farm in 1988. He started out with a herd of 550 Friesian cows. Jesa Mixed Farm’s operations expanded; leading to the establishment of Jesa Farm Dairy Limited (1994), with a milk processing, pasteurizing and packaging plant to produce packed milk, butter yoghurt and cream.
Mulwana went ahead to start Nsimbe Estates Limited in 1992 which is mainly involved in horticultural farming for export of cut flowers, in a joint venture with a German partner. He added Jesa Investments Limited to his collection in 2002. Jesa Investments Limited is a Commercial Property Development entity.
Mulwana in 1988 spearheaded the revival of the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) and served as its Chairman till early November 2000. Before his death, he served as its Chairman, Advisory Committee. The Uganda Manufacturers Association has played an increasingly significant role as the leading representative of Uganda’s business community, addressing issues of importance not only to the manufacturing sector, but also to the overall private sector as a whole. The government of Uganda and the international Donors have provided the necessary moral support to the UMA and consulted the association on important matters of economic policy.
His achievements stretch to banks. In 1992, Mulwana was appointed a Director to the Board of Standard Chartered Bank Uganda
Limited in 1992 and in 1998, he was appointed Chairman to-date. In 1993, he was appointed Honorary Consul of the Royal Kingdom of Thailand
to Uganda, a position he held to- date. In October 2008 he was promoted as Honorary Consul General to date.
In 1995, BAT Uganda (1984) appointed him to its Board of Directors and later on, he was appointed non-executive Chairman of the Board from 1994 to date. The Private Sector Foundation Uganda elected him as a Chairman in 1996 until April 2008. He remained on board as Chairman Advisory Committee. International Finance Corporation (IFC) elected him as a member to the International Finance Corporation Business Advisory Council in 1996, which has its headquarters in Washington D.C. IFC is a member of the World Bank group and is involved in the direct financing of private sector projects in developing countries.
East Africa Development Bank Limited appointed him to its Board of Directors in June of 1999 to date and in 2003, the East African Business Council elected him as Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the East African Business Council. EABC is a body for the three partner states of Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, who are under the EA Community which brings together all Private Sector Associate of East Africa under the East Africa Community.
Mulwana was appointed by Eskom Uganda Limited as a Director of Eskom Uganda Limited in 2003 to date. In 2002, the Insurance Company of East Africa Limited appointed him as a Director to the Board of Directors, a position he held to his death. He was also a non executive chairman of Zain Uganda in 2001. He was also the Vice Chairperson of SOS Children’s Village, a charitable organisation, which takes care of
the homeless children and orphans. In June 2003, e was elected as the representative of the African Continent to the International Senate of the SOS Kinderdorf International General Assembly.
In addition to his accomplishments, Mulwana was also the Patron, HOSPICE- Uganda, Trustee, Mengo Hospital, Board Member, Interplast Uganda, Board Member and St. John Ambulance Uganda.
Because of his accomplishments, he was able to achieve recognition and awards for his work. In 1988, he got a Chevalier in the National Order of Merit by the French Government in honour of his continued contribution in promoting the private sector. The same year, he got an Appreciation Award for Distinguished Leadership of Uganda Manufacturers Association.
In 1991, he received the Vocational Service Award, service above self, by the Rotary Club of Kampala Uganda and the Investor of the Year Award for the best business promoter of the decade, by Uganda Investment Authority 1991-2001. He got The Monitor Award Man of the Year in 1993 from Monitor Publications, Kampala. 1998 saw him earn the Honorary Doctorate of the University of Nkumba in recognition for his leading role in the manufacturing and business sector. In 2000, he landed himself in third place as one of the East African Most Respected CEO’s by PriceWaterHouseCoopers.
2001 saw him lead the same award as the East African Most respected CEO by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and also receive the Certificate of Award by Habitat for Humanity International. In 2002, he was East African Most Respected CEO by PriceWaterHouseCoopers and in 2003, he earned the Certificate of Honorary Membership by Rotary Club of Muyenga D9200.
He was honored by H.E President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in 2006 when he received the Presidential Transformers Appreciation Award. 2007, he received the UIA Recognition Award by Uganda Investment Authority in recognition to his personal contribution to the success of the Commonwealth Business Forum in 2007.
2008, he got the PSFU Appreciation Award : In recognition of invaluable contribution to the Private sector Foundation as Chairman.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.