UNABCEC mourns fallen President

By UNABCEC Staff Writer.

In the death of Mr. Aryatuzoora Francis Karuhanga, Uganda’s Construction Industry has lost one of its greatest leaders and one who at the time of his death was justly considered the dean of his specialty. The passing of Mr. Karuhanga is an incalculable loss to the contracting sector, to the construction industry in general, to the lay public and to his many admirers and friends.

He has been a devoted champion of local content and transparency in the construction contracting sector. His death which occurred on Friday 8th January 2021 left a big gap in the construction industry’s advocacy efforts for more and better government consideration in contracting.

Francis addressing participants at the midyear Stakeholders' Engagement Forum on 4th July 2019 at Kingdom Kampala.

Mr. Karuhanga (R.I.P) who also doubled as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Armpass Technical Services Ltd became Chairman of UNABCEC in 2015, which title later changed to President in 2017. Since then he has been an outstanding advocate for special consideration for local civil engineering and contracting companies in undertaking government projects. Through efforts like these, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) now has an annual cap provision of close to Shs. 1 trillion reserved for local contractors.

Mrs. Elizabeth Muhebwa, the Executive Director of UNABCEC described the late as a selfless and passionate leader who championed a number of activities aimed at developing the local construction industry. “His unceasing efforts shall greatly be missed.” She confessed.

In a letter dated 13th January 2021 addressed to all UNABCEC Members, Mrs. Muhebwa appreciated all members for coming together to support the family of the late and the entire Armpass Technical Services Ltd as they prepared the farewell ceremony of the late and called upon them to uphold his legacy. "A midst mourning our great leader, we are all called upon to emulate and uphold the legacy of the Association that the great man has left in place."

Francis sharing a moment with Gen. Katumba Wamala, the Minister of Works and Transport during the midyear Stakeholders' Engagement Forum on 4th July 2019 at Kingdom Kampala.

"We at Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers (UACE) sincerely condole with the family of the late and UNABCEC." said Eng. Betty Nakamya, the Chairperson of Uganda Association of Consulting Engineers (UACE).

Eng. Ben Kyemba, President of Uganda Institution of Professional Engineers (UIPE) said Mr. Karuhanga's death was a great loss to the local construction industry, the bereaved family and the country at large. "UNABCEC has lost a pillar, an advocate and mentor whose replacement will be hard to find." he continued.

Mr. Fang Qiuchen, the Chairman of China International Contractors Association (CHINCA) - the chief organisers of the International Infrastructure Investment and Construction Forums (IIICF) said they had lost a dear friend. “I deeply cherished the moments we shared with Mr. Karuhanga (R.I.P) at the Forum and earnestly appreciated his contribution in facilitating UNABCEC to join the Joint Action Plan for Enhanced Cooperation on International Infrastructure Construction in 2018, boosting dialogue and collaboration in a more active and efficient manner between UNABCEC and CHINCA from then on. Mr. Karuhanga (R.I.P) will be long remembered as one who devoted his time and efforts to promoting China-Uganda infrastructure cooperation.”

Uganda's manufacturers through their umbrella body, Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) also expressed their condolences to the bereaved family, friends, management and staff of UNABCEC for this great loss.

Several construction practitioners and stakeholders paid tribute, all saying that Mr. Karuhanga’s death was a terrible loss to the local construction industry.

His life was characterized by his commitment towards mentoring the young generation. In 2019, he initiated a Graduate Training Program at UNABCEC to act as a stepping stone for fresh graduates into their careers. His love for the youth was truly unmatched. That life is no more but his legacy will live on...

May the soul of Mr. Aryatuzoora Francis Karuhanga rest in eternal peace.