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LIST: Aponye, Muhakanizi, top names of prominent Ugandans we lost in 2023

The year 2023 saw notable individuals pass away, leaving behind legacies that impacted various spheres of society. A list of prominent Ugandans who died this year included ministers, celebrities and public personalities.

Below is a list of notable individuals we lost during the year, 2023.

January 10 (Former Minister Sezi Mbaguta)

Former Minister Sezi Mbaguta

The late Prisca Sezi Mbaguta, the former Minister of State for Public Service and former Rukungiri district Woman Member of Parliament died on January 10, at her home in Nakasero, Kampala.

During her funeral, the former minister was hailed for fighting corruption. 

January 16 (Ambassador Wasswa Galiwango)

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Uganda’s High Commissioner to Kenya, Dr Wasswa Hassan Galiwango, passed on at a hospital in Kenya’s capital Nairobi after suffering heart complications.

March 4 (John Nagenda)

John Nagenda, then Senior Presidential Advisor on Media died on March 4 at Medipal Hospital in Kampala. His death was announced by Milly Babalanda, the Minister for the Presidency.

March 7, (Justice Kenneth Kakuru)

Renowned for standing firm in advocating human rights, Justice Kenneth Kakuru passed away at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. His death was announced by the Judiciary. He was 65 years old.

March 17, (Hoima District Boss Kirungi Kadiri)

The Hoima district LC5 chairperson Kirungi Kadiri died in a car crash together with his bodyguard at a place called Mataagi village, Bukomero Town Council in Kiboga District along the Hoima-Kampala highway.

Kirungi and Otim were travelling in Reg No UAH 053Q (Prado Land Cruiser) which collided head-on with a Fuso Truck UBB 059Z that was carrying pavers and coming from the opposite direction.

April 5, Bishop Emeritus Edward Baharagate

Bishop Albert Edward Baharagate succumbed to respiratory complications at Nsambya Hospital. His demise shocked many Ugandans, especially those who got the opportunity to interact with him during his lifetime. 

April 13 (Keith Muhakanizi)

A revered economic guru, former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi, passed away in a Milan hospital after battling a prolonged illness.

At the time of his death, he was serving as the permanent secretary (PS) of the Office of the Prime Minister, having previously been the PS of the finance ministry. His contributions to Uganda’s post-1986 economic policies were widely acknowledged.

May 2, (Charles Okello Engola)

The former Oyam North MP and State minister for Labour, Mr Charles Engola, met an untimely end when shot by his own bodyguard, Pte Wilson Sabiiti. The shocking incident sparked concerns about the safety of government officials, with investigations ongoing.

May 6 (Isma Olaxess)

Ibrahim Tusubira aka Olaxess was shot dead by unknown assailants who smeared several bullets in his chest as he was driving back to his home in Kyanja, a Kampala suburb. The incident happened on May 06 at around 9:00 pm.

May 12 (Bible Society Boss Simon Peter Mukhama)

On May 12, the country woke up to the shocking news of the death of the Bible Society Uganda (BSU) general secretary, Simon Peter Mukhama, aged 54 years. Reports said Mukhama felt unwell and was rushed to Mengo Hospital, where he passed on.

May 17 (Former Minister Okumu Ringa)

On May 17, the former public service state minister and renowned entrepreneur, Patrick Okumu Ringa, passed on after a long illness, following a stroke he suffered over five years ago.

May 21, Stuart Mutebi Kiwanuka

Legendary sports commentator Stuart Mutebi Kiwanuka succumbed to a prolonged battle with stroke. His contributions to sports broadcasting earned him recognition as one of Uganda’s greatest sports presenters.

June 7, (Kato Lubwama)

On June 7, the country woke up to grief following the death of renowned theatre actor, musician, radio host and politician Kato Lubwama who passed away at the age of 52. He had been battling a long-standing heart condition, complications for which he succumbed, at Stana Medical Centre in Bunamwaya, Wakiso district.

July 6, (Apollo Nyegamehe alias Aponye)

A prominent businessman and Rukiga District chairperson, Apollo Nyegamehe, known as Aponye, lost his life in a car accident in Ntungamo District. His significant contributions to business and community development left a lasting impact.

July 18, (Archbishop Paul Bakyenga)

On July 18, the former Archbishop of Mbarara, Paul Bakyenga, passed away, leaving behind a legacy of service to the church and society. Known for his commitment to social justice, education, and spirituality, Archbishop Bakyenga’s influence extended beyond religious boundaries.

July 22, (Hussein Kyanjo)

On July 22, the country woke up to the sad news of the death of Haji Hussein Kyanjo, the former Makindye West Member of Parliament (MP). Kyanjo breathed his last at Kibuli Muslim Hospital at the age of 63, having battled colon cancer since 2011. 

August 3, (Ambassador Muhammad Tezikuba Kisambira)

Uganda’s ambassador to Iran, Muhammad Tezikuba Kisambira, passed away in Tehran. His diplomatic service and prior role as a Muslim scholar contributed to Uganda’s representation abroad.

August 9, (Emeritus Bishop George Tibwesigwa)

Bishop Emeritus, the Rt. Rev. Dr George William Tibesigwa of Ankole Diocese died on August 09 at Mayanja Memorial Hospital in Mbarara. Reports said he had taken a bed rest waiting for an ambulance to take him to one of the hospitals in Kampala when he met his death. Tibwesigwa was battling dementia and other ailments for close to four years.

August 19 (URA FC Coach Sam Timbe)

URA FC coach Sam Timbe passed on as he was being rushed to Nakasero Hospital in Kampala. Timbe was 69 years old. 

September 18 (Evelyn Lagu)

The Ugandan entertainment industry woke up to the sombre news of the passing of actress and singer Evelyn Nakabira, popularly known as Evelyn Lagu. The singer’s attempt at a kidney transplant in Turkey was declined, highlighting the challenges faced by those battling serious health issues.

September 30, (Dr Aggrey Kiyingi)

Ugandan cardiologist Dr Aggrey Kiyingi, who had lived in Australia, breathed his last on September 30. Despite his medical contributions, he faced controversies, including accusations related to the murder of his wife and funding rebels.

October 19 (Henery Kyemba)

Veteran public servant and politician Henry Kyemba died on October 19 after battling diabetes for a long time.

November 1, (Henry Katanga)

A prominent businessman and Ankole Prince, Henry Katanga, was tragically shot dead inside his bedroom, sparking controversies around the circumstances of his death.

November 4, Ex-Police Boss Chris Bakiza 

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The former head of Police’s Criminal Investigations Directorate, John Chris Bakiza, passed away at Mulago Hospital. Bakiza, a prominent lawyer and former lecturer at the Law Development Centre, had been in and out of hospital for the past two years.

November 7, FUFA Boss Darius Mugoye 

The Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) on November 7 announced the death of its second vice-president, Darius Mugoye, just two months after he closed a national tournament at its technical centre in Njeru, Buikwe district. Mugoye died at Mengo Hospital. 

November 18, Former Minister Joyce Mpanga 

The former minister and member of Buganda Kingdom Lukiiko (parliament), Joyce Rovincer Mpanga, died at her home in Rubaga on November 18 from her home in Kampala. She was 90. 

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