KAMPALA, UGANDA: The body of late businessman Apollo Nyegamehe alias Aponye has been transported to Kampala to allow his family, relatives and friends to pay last respects to him.
Aponye who was on Thursday evening travelling to his country home in Rukiga district, southwestern Uganda perished in a nasty road crash at a lace called Itojo along the Mbarara-Ntungamo highway.
Rwizi Region police on Thursday night said the body of Aponye who died on the spot had initially been taken to Itojo Hospital Mortuary, where it was treated after a postmortem examination while the survivors of the 9 pm crash were transferred to Mbarara Referral Hospital for better management.
By Friday morning, DailyExpress learnt that the family of the late businessman asked hospital authorities to receive his body for transportation to Kampala where a vigil will be held at his residence.
According to SP Samson Kasasira, the wealthy businessman was heading in the direction of Kabale when his vehicle (a Toyota Land Cruiser) lost control and rammed into a stationary truck that had developed a mechanical fault and parked at the roadside, about 200 metres from Itojo Hospital.
“The vehicle in which Aponye was travelling (Land Cruiser registered as UBF 300Z) rammed into the Fuso truck (UAZ 767D) loaded with Irish potatoes. Aponye died on the spot,” said Kasasira.
He pointed at overspeeding as having played a role in the crash.
SP Kasasira further said that the two people other people involved in the crash survived with injuries and were rushed to Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital for emergency treatment.
He identified the duo as Aponye’s 36-year-old brother, Joshua Karamuzi, and his driver, Moses Isabirye Buyinza aged 48 years.
When contacted for an update on the survivors, Mr Halson Kagure, the Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital communications officer said that the two were responding well to treatment.
“CT scans showed that Karamuzi sustained no internal injuries. The results for Buyinza were not yet out by the time of writing this after appearing to have picked up an injury to his head,” Kagure noted.
Apollo Nyegamehe who started his entrepreneurial journey as a wheelbarrow pusher in Kabale, had built a household name in the country and had become popularly known for the business name Aponye.
Over the years, he expanded his operations and diversified his investments, eventually amassing considerable wealth. He ventured into real estate, owning a string of commercial buildings and enterprises such as the famous Aponye Building in Kampala, which hosted the Mega Standard Supermarket until it was recently acquired by another businessman due to Aponye’s inability to repay a bank loan.
At the time of his death, he was the NRM District Chairperson for Rukiga district in southwestern Uganda, while his company was one of the biggest grain suppliers to the UN’s World Food Programme, the Prime minister’s office, Police, Prisons and the East African region.
Although the real figure is not known, Aponye’s net worth is estimated to be over USD 25 million with the majority of ventures into grain trading, real estate, logistics, and hospitality propelling him to significant wealth.