The Life and Times of Prof. Apolo Nsibambi – The First Non-Head-of-State Chancellor of Makerere university

Prof. Apolo Nsibambi (1940-2019)

Fare thee well Prof. Apolo Nsibambi (1940-2019)

Prof. Apolo Nsibambi was on Tuesday 28th May 2019 announced dead. He died at his home in Lunguja in Rubaga Division.

He was aged 78.

It’s sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.” Henry Rollins  was quoted saying. Rollins’ quote best describes Prof. Nsibambi’s name whose dedicated service in the education sector can hardly be forgotten.

Prof. Nsibambi was the first non-Head-of-State Chancellor of Makerere University, the oldest public university in Uganda. He served in this capacity from October 2003 to October 2007.

He took over from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the president of the Republic of Uganda who is the longest serving Chancellor of Makerere University (1986 to 2002).

He taught at Makerere University during the 1960s and thereafter served as the Dean of Faculty of Social Sciences from 1978 until 1983 and from 1985 until 1987.

He was appointed Head of the Department of Political Science at Makerere University in 1987, a position he held until 1990.

Prof. Nsibambi was Director of the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) from 1994 to 1996.

President Museveni and Prof. Apollo Nsibambi

Between 1996 and 1998, he served as Minister of Public Service in the Uganda Cabinet.

In 1998 he was appointed Minister of Education and Sports until 1999 when he was appointed Prime Minister of Uganda and Leader of Government Business (5th April 1999 to 24th May 2011). He was the longest serving Prime Minister of Uganda.

Prof. Nsibambi took over from Kintu Musoke in 1999 and was succeeded by Amama Mbabazi in 2011.

Background and Education

Apolo Nsibambi was born on 25 October 1940. He was the son of Simeon Nsibambi, who together with John E. Church led the Balokole or the “East African Revival” movement.

Nsibambi attended King’s College Budo for his high school education. He held a Bachelor of Science degree in economics, with honors, from Makerere University under London University.

He also held a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of Chicago in the United States.

His Doctor of Philosophy degree was obtained from the University of Nairobi.

He married his wife, Esther, in March 2003 after the death of his first wife, Rhoda, in December 2001. He was the father of four daughters, and the grandfather of at least five grandchildren.

He was an Anglican.

Below are some of the messages people are posting on social media about Prof. Apolo Nsibambi.

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