KAMPALA, UGANDA: Prof. Joseph Mukiibi, Founder of the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) and Former Chairman of the Democratic Party has died.
Mukiibi who was Makerere University’s leading plant pathologist passed away on Tuesday evening according to information received from the Director General of NARO, Dr Ambrose Agona.
The deceased was professor and head of crop science at Makerere University and was responsible for setting up NARO, a Centre of Excellence in Agriculture Research in East Africa, serving as its fist Director General.
Democratic Party Bigwigs including Buikwe MP Dr. Lulume Bayiga has confirmed Prof. Mukiiibi’s death.
“I have heard the sad news of the death of this honourable gallant most learned statesman. Prof Joseph Mukiibi,” Dr. Lulume Bayiga wrote.
He added: Prof Mukiibi led very well as National Chairman. A straight man you could easily work with progress. I will mourn with deep pain for losing you. But I will celebrate the opportunity I had while I worked with you as your Acting DP Secretary General. You loved the Democratic Party indeed”.
Prof. Mukiibi was elected Chairperson of DP in 2005 and replaced Mzeei Boniface Byanyima, who was an anchor and voice of reason for the party over the past 25 years.
He was a husband to former State Minister for Pensions, Benigna Mukiibi.
Mukibi studied at Makerere and St Andrews (UK) Universities and has undertaken research at universities in Kenya, Tanzania and California.
He also worked at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Nigeria and had since served on many boards including the IITA, the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia, the Commonwealth Agricultural Bureau International (CABI) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Co-operation (CTA).
He also led consultations on institutional reforms in African agricultural research and chairs boards of several community based organizations.
Recently, he worked in South Sudan on a project for establishing an agricultural research system in the new country.
Prof. Mukiibi was a Fellow of Uganda National Academy of Sciences.