Patrick Bitature is a Ugandan businessman, entrepreneur, and author. He is believed to be the second wealthiest Ugandan after Sudhir Ruparelia. He is the founder, chairman, and Group CEO of the Simba Group of Companies which is primarily based in East Africa.
The Simba Group of Companies started in 1998 with the flagship telecom business but has since grown to a conglomerate of East Africa-based companies spanning telecoms, properties, power generation, agro-business, mining, tourism, and media.
At end 2011 the Group employed over 600 direct staff and – 1500 indirect staff.
He has received several board appointments in various companies, businesses and foundations in Uganda. Most notable among these appointments include Umeme Uganda Limited, Bolloré Logistics Uganda as well as Mulago National Referral Hospital.
Early Life and Education
Bitature was born on 10th May 1960, in Fort Portal located in the Western Region of Uganda specifically Kabarole District.
He was the first child of a middle-class household. His parents worked for the East African Community (EAC) and they ended up spending more time in Kenya and Tanzania.
His father, however, was assassinated at the age of 44 during the Idi Amin era when Bitature was just 13 years old.
Namasagali College’s Father Grimes took him and his siblings in and paid their school expenses for the following few years.
He soon took on the role of breadwinner, trading in sugar, clothing, shoes, and foreign currencies. He later ventured into mobile phones and mobile airtime distribution.
Patrick is married to Carol Bitature, and together they have four children: Nataliey Bitature, Natasha Bitature, Vanessa Bitature, among others.
He is a Mutooro from the Toro Tribe in Western Uganda.
Bitature lived in Fort Portal, where he began his early childhood education, before moving to Jinja for high school.
He received his O-Level schooling at Namasagali College in Kamuli District. Fr. Damien Grimes looked after him when he was there.
He eventually completed his A-Levels at Nyakasura School in Fort Portal, Kabarole District.
Bitature then graduated from the London School of Accountancy in the United Kingdom.
He afterwards became a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. He bears the title of Institute Fellow.
The United Graduate College and Seminary International in Asheville, North Carolina, bestowed upon him an honorary doctorate in 2013.
In November 2022, he was named entrepreneur of the year at the African tourism leadership forum in Botswana, Gaborone
Patrick Bitature began doing business as a teenager by selling sugar, then moved on to shirts, ladies’ clothing, shoes, a nightclub, foreign exchange, mobile phones, and airtime.
He subsequently founded the Simba Group of Enterprises in 1998, with the flagship telecom sector. Still, it has since expanded to a conglomerate of East African enterprises spanning telecoms, properties, power generation, agro-business, mining, tourism, and media.
Simba Telecom has grown to become Uganda’s largest seller of MTN airtime, with gross sales topping US$80 million in 2010.
At the end of 2011, the Group employed approximately 600 direct employees and – 1500 indirect employees.
He has developed several enterprises within the Simba Group of enterprises over the years, with subsidiaries in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Some of the companies in the Simba group include; Simba Telecoms Limited, Eletromaxx Limited, Simba Mining Limited, Simba Dairy Farm, Tororo Solar Power Station, Protea Hotel Kampala opened in November 2007 and Skyz Hotel opened in 2017.
In 1998, Bitature started a company that he named Simba Telecom Limited. The company became a franchisee of MTN Uganda, which had just opened in the country. Simba Telecom has grown into the largest seller of MTN airtime in Uganda, with gross sales in excess of US$80 million in 2010.
Over the years, he has formed other companies within the Simba Group of Companies, with subsidiaries in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania. Some of the companies in the group include the following:
Simba Telecoms Limited
Eletromaxx Limited – Owner-operator of the 70 megawatt Tororo Thermal Power Station
Simba Mining Limited
Simba Dairy Farm
Tororo Solar Power Station
Protea Hotel Kampala Marriott Skyz
Patrick Bitature has been appointed to the boards of several Ugandan enterprises, businesses, and institutions.
He was appointed Chairman of UIA (the Uganda Investment Authority’s) Board of Directors in March 2007, a position he held until September 2013.
In May 2007, he became Chairman of the Presidential Investment Round Table, a think tank of private sector leaders co-chaired by the President of Uganda.
He has been the chairman of the board of directors of Umeme, Uganda’s major electric energy distributor, since September 2007.
In October 2007, he was hired as the director of the Ugandan branch of Traidlinks Limited.
He has also been the chairman of Ndege Premier Aviation Company, a private air charter and aircraft management firm situated at Kajjansi Airport, since 2009
Bitature was named Director of CURE Children’s Home Uganda in May 2010, the first paediatric neurosurgery facility in Sub-Saharan Africa established in 2000.
He has been Australia’s honorary consul in Uganda since December 2010. His mission is to promote and strengthen partnerships between the two countries, as well as to encourage trade and investment in both Uganda and Australia.
Bitature was appointed to the Board of Directors of Wananchi Group Holdings Limited (ZUKU Satellite Pay Tv Uganda) in July 2011.
In August 2012, he was designated Patron of The Alliance of Mayors and Municipal Leaders on HIV/AIDS in Africa (AMICAALL).
He has been the patron of the Australian Alumni Association Uganda since March 2013.
In 2014, he was named chairman of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, an umbrella organisation comprised of private sector firms that provides lobbying, advocacy, and training to its members.
Bitature was appointed to the Board of Directors of Uganda Reinsurance Company, the country’s first and only reinsurance company, in May 2015.
He was appointed to the Malaria Free Uganda Board of Directors by the Minister of Health in October 2020.
Bitature was named to the Mulago National Referral Hospital’s board of directors in September 2021.
Bolloré Transport & Logistics chose Patrick Bitature as its new chairman in Uganda in October 2021.
Achievements and Awards
Patrick Bitature is the founder of Project 500k, a community-based educational project that aims to provide 500,000 Ugandan youngsters with financial literacy information and skills, as well as the attitudes and behaviours associated with successful entrepreneurship.
Bitature is also the Co-founder of Tororo Solar Power, a 10MW solar power plant in Uganda.
Patrick Bitature was implicated in a Vantage Capital Loan Saga.
Simba Group signed a Mezzanine Term Facility Agreement for us $10,000,000, which was then delayed to be paid by Simba due to some reasons in activities which led to Vantage suing Simba Group for failing to deliver due to the company’s higher interest rates.
Simba later went to court to seek redress for Vantage’s inability to reconcile.