Dr George Tibesigwa: Ankole’s Emeritus Bishop bows out

MBARARA, (UG): Christian faithfuls in Ankole Diocese are mourning the passing of Emeritus Bishop Rt. Rev Dr George Tibesigwa who died yesterday at the age of 78.

Tibesigwa’s death was announced by the dean of Ankole Diocese Ven Bob’s Mwesigye.
“We have received the sad news of the passing of our Emeritus Bishop, however, we await the Bishop Associate Professor Bishop Sheldon Mweigwa to officially communicate the details and the program,” Ven Mwesigye said in a brief announcement on Wednesday evening.

At the time of his passing, Tibesigwa was undergoing dementia treatment at Mayanja Memorial Hospital where he had been admitted since the beginning of this week.

Church service

Rt Rev George Tibesigwa served as the 4th bishop of the Ankole diocese from 2007 until July 2010, having succeeded retired bishop Elisha Kyamugambi in the position.        

At the time of his election, Tibesigwa was serving as the principal of Barham University College in Kabale and later became the first principal to be appointed to Bishop Barhum University, a Kabale-based constituent college of Uganda Christian University.  

Tibesigwa’s election as Ankole Diocese Bishop came to some as a surprise after the House of Bishops had rejected Dr Rev Wilberforce Kamukama and his brother Rev Dr Grace Karamura then nominated to replace Elisha Kyamugambi who was about to retire. 

He took over after Bishop William Magambo was appointed the caretaker by the Most Reverend Henry Luke Orombi, the then archbishop of Uganda. Tibesigwa was consecrated in Mbarara on 2nd September 2007, together with the Rev. John A.M. Guernsey, an American priest then canonically resident in North Kigezi diocese.

He was among the eminent clergy and individuals who tremendously contributed to the transformation of Uganda Christian University.

Others in that category include Rev. Can. Yokania Bitashoborokire, Rt. late Rev. Dr Livingstone Mpalanyi Nkoyoyo, Rt. Rev. Dr. Elisha Kyamugambi late Prof. Enoka Rukare, Rt. Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, late Prof. Emmanuel Mutebire, Justice Bart Katureebe, Prof Jossy Rwakishana Bibangamba and Rev. Can. Gershom Kamondo among others.  

Dr Tibesigwa has been the coordinator of the North Ankole Diocese University Project.

He was also a senior advisor on community welfare and development issues, a senior presidential advisor in southwestern Uganda; chairman of the board of the Coalition for Health Promotion and Social Development (HEPSUganda) a non-governmental organization (NGO) that promotes the health and socioeconomic rights.

Tibesigwa was also chairman board of directors at Eliphaz Laki Memorial Foundation; East Africa TEE and COU Provincial Building Committee and a chancellor at Bishop Stuart University.    

A learned academic, Dr Tibesigwa held a Doctor of Ministry from the Asian Centre for Theological Studies and Mission/United University of ASIA, a Master of Divinity University College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, a bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Psychology) from the University of Saskatchewan, a Bachelor of Theology.

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