Yesterday, social media was awash with the news of Prof Apolo Nsibambi’s death.
The former Prime Minister succumbed to cancer aged 78. A myriad of social media users took to their platforms to react to his death with the vast majority of those talking about him as a one who served Uganda with a distinction.
Among these, were political leaders who praised his honesty. Both the ruling party, NRM and the opposition agree that Nsibambi (RIP) served his country with out any corruption scandals or any instances of oppressive conduct.
The first citizen, President Yoweri Museveni said that Apolo Nsibambi was a true patriot and great academic that this country will miss forever.
Museveni instructed Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda to lead a team that will ensure Prof Nsibambi gets a befitting send off.
” I have learnt of the untimely passing of the former Prime Minister, Prof Apolo Nsibambi. He was a true patriot and great academic. The country will miss him. I have instructed Prime Minister @RuhakanaR to lead a team that will ensure we give Prof Nsibambi a befitting send-off,” Museveni said in a tweet.
Opposition stronghold, Dr. Kizza Besigye called Prof Nsibambi a good hearted man and a politician by God’s will.
“LUGUBRIOUS INDEED. The passing of a good hearted man; an academic par excellence; and a politician by God’s will.
Fare thee well &MAGRIP,” Besigye tweeted.
Chairman of the IPOD Summit and Democratic Party leader, Norbert Mao conveyed his condolences to the family and Ugandans, noting that Prof Nsibambi was an accomplished academic who smoothly transitioned into the political arena where he served with dignity and class.
He tweeted; ” I’m saddened to learn of the death of former Prime Minister Prof. Apolo Nsibambi. I convey my condolences to his family and also to all Ugandans. An accomplished academic who transitioned smoothly into the political arena, Nsibambi served with integrity, dignity and class. RIP”
The national coordinator of the Alliance for National Transformation, Mugisha Muntu conveyed his condolences as well in a tweet.
” I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Professor Apolo Nsibambi. We pray that God strengthens the family as they go through this undoubtedly difficult time.”
Nsibambi served as the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences at Makerere University from 1978 until 1983 and from 1985 until 1987 when he was appointed Head, Department of Political Science at Makerere University, a position he held until 1990.
He became the Director, Makerere Institute of Social Research in 1994, serving in that capacity until 1996.
Between 1996 and 1998, he served as Minister of Public Service. In 1998 he was appointed Minister of Education and Sports, serving in that capacity until 1999 when he was appointed Prime Minister.
During a caucus meeting in May 2011, he got to learn he had been replaced by Amama Mbabazi as PM. He addressed the media and thanked president Museveni for the time in office.
By the time of his death, he was being wheeled around, and it is reported he has been very ill but refused to seek government help. He also chose to keep his sickness a secret to him and family until his death.