President Yoweri Museveni has Wednesday paid a visit to the grieving family of late Prof Apolo Nsibambi to commiserate with them a day after the death of Uganda’s longest serving Prime Minister.
Prof Apolo Nsibambi died on Tuesday evening at his home in Bulange, Mengo near Kampala at the age of 78. The country is mourning a man many say served with diligence, integrity and made a great contribution in the academia.
Museveni who gave an address at the residence where mourners had converged, paid a warm tribute to Prof Nsibambi whom he said made significant contribution in the political, religious and cultural spheres.
“We spent 16 years fighting. When we returned, that’s when I officially met Prof Nsibambi because he was at Makerere at the time,” Museveni said.
Their paths would later cross again during an industrial action by lecturers at Makerere university who were at the time demanding that government provides them a better living wage.
“I met them at the Conference Centre. Prof Nsibambi and others attended the meeting. I want to thank him because he together with other Professors managed to reach an understanding,” he said.
“They did a commendable job. Especially Prof Nsibambi”.
Museveni who was accompanied by First Lady, Janet Kataha Museveni also lauded the role played by Nsibambi during the negotiations between Buganda Kingdom and the central government over the return of kingdom properties (ebyaffe). Prof Nsibambi was heading the committee tasked to hold talks with government.
“He was so involved in the Mengo affairs. He made a contribution to bridge us the ‘bush war people’ and the leadership in Buganda. And he has been doing this all the time we have been in government.”
The President as well recounted regularly meeting Nsibambi during the parents’ meetings at Nakasero Parents’ School where both of them had children.
“This is also important to note. Because he was a Professor and I was involved in government, but we endeavored to participate in these parents’ meetings at school,” he said.
“Therefore at the age of 78, he has added numerous bricks to the development of this country. What is important is what have you done for this world as a legacy”.
The former Premier served the church as much as he did in the other positions of influence (academia, Buganda and politics). And President Museveni highlighted that contribution as well in his tribute.
Museveni cited the fundraising drive to build Namirembe Cathedral in Rubaga, an effort that Prof Nsibambi was a part of.
“There is a time we were raising funds for the church at Namirembe and he was very involved in this project. It was because of him that I came and made a contribution”.
“May the Almighty God rest his soul in peace. I also want to thank his wife Esther for taking good care of him when he lost his wife.”
Museveni said he last spoke with Prof Nsibambi about three weeks ago.
Earlier, other public figures including Vice President, Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Kampala Mayor, Erias Lukwago and Members of Parliament visited the family at the residence.