By George Okello, London, via UAH forum
Professor Apollo Nsibambi, rather bizarrely, was a friend of mine when I was at universityy, mainly because of the intellectual debate taking place at the time, pitting him on one side and professor Mahmood Mamdani on the other, which I followed with close interest. I usually participated in the annual Mawazo Conferences which their faculty organised and every year brought together African intecletuals in debate.
Before I left Uganda, he warned me about showing interest in his daughter, saying he would never allow her to get married to a “marxist”. I wonder why he got into bed with the NRA because at the time I knew him, he was a staunch monarchist, but I understand he is no longer close to Kabaka Mutebi and Mengo. I wish I had stayed long enough to win over his daughter- maybe Mutebi would have appointed me his Katikiro.
He is a very warm and friendly man, even though some may not like his views. A bit pompous but in a nice way. Very bubbly and arguementative! And he likes making jokes about everything under the sun.
I last worked with him shortly after the NRA came to power in 1986 and set up a Commission on Local Government which included Professors Mamdani, Mwaka, and Karugire among others. Our commission was to find out what was wrong with local government and recommend a new philosophy and system. This was before the NRA settled on what is now known as ‘the system’.
I was the youngest member of the commission as well as it’s lawyer, and I must say also its heart and soul, having to keep all these makerere dons in check.
We travelled throughout the country, living in beautiful hotels, gorging on the fat of the land, eating sausages for breakfast and roast lambs for dinner,but working in the day talking to the great and the good. I was supposed to be the secretary of this collective of academics and civil servants so I leave it to you to guess how productive we were!
But anyway, Nsibambi and I got on well, but I got on even better with Karugire because we both liked a drink! Every evening Karugire and myself would disappear into the night out of the reach of the group and discover the watering holes of the towns we camped in and would return in the early hours , mostly leg less!!!
Anyway the jokes about girls came about mainly by way of a public fatherly advice by professor Nsibambi, I think he had seen me slip girls into my room in some of the towns we passed through , one girl I met in Fort Portal had surprised me by coming to Kasese without my knowledge or agreement and almost caused a scene, and the professor was getting concerned that I was leading a reckless life style; so that’s why he probably brought in the joke about his daughter, he always thought Marxists were aliens with weird habits !
Any way I left the Commission midway and left the country altogether soon after. Looking back, I frankly don’t think I would be alive today if I had not left Uganda at that time. Either a bullet or HIV would have seen me off. So in some bizarre way I thank kayibanda for kicking me out of Uganda!!!
As for Nsibambi’s time as PM, I think the only thing he brought to the role is dignity as he carried himself well and was scandal free. He is way ahead of the fat arsed ruhakana rugundu who has been kayibanda’s doormat or rug for neon years and still no one knows what he really does, apart from eating himself silly.
Dr.Rugunda is one of the worst buffoons the NRA has created and I don’t see how president Obote could have been taken in by such a fat crook, with hardly any grey matter in his cranium. I would allow Nsibambi to keep his pension but the fat boy would have to pay back all he has looted as well as eaten all these 31 years of gangland rule!