By Andrew Ssenyonga
Former deputy minister in charge of Higher Education in the first NRM Cabinet, John Ntimba, on Sunday succumbed to cancer at Rubaga Hospital where he had been admitted for weeks.
Ntimba who was also a former teacher of Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Paul Kagame of Rwanda at Ntare School in Mbarara district died of Liver cancer.
Dr. Anatoli Kamugisha his longtime friend and business partner at Akright Projects Limited said Ntimba had battled with liver cancer for over a year.
Ntimba was among the first 48 ministers of the 1986 President Museveni's Cabinet.
The deceased had previously served as a senior civil servant before his appointment as deputy minister in charge of Higher Education.
After leaving Cabinet, he was appointed chairman of the Makerere University appointments board and a member of the university’s council where he served for close to ten years.
Aged 78,Ntimba, a resident of Kabusu village Rubaga division Kampala, his employment in public service spanned the three arms of government i.e. Executive, Legislature and judiciary.
He survived by a widow, five children and nine grandchildren.
A requiem mass will be held for him at Rubaga Cathedral in Kampala Tuesday and burial will take place Thursday at his ancestral home in Nyamitanga village Mbarara municipality.
Polly Kiiza, Ntimba’s young brother said the deceased was a peaceful, caring, loving and a very humble brother.
Vice President Edward Ssekandi who was at Ntimba’s home on Sunday evening said the death of former state minister for education is a great loss to the NRM party.
“I am deeply saddened by the sudden death of Ntimba. The late Ntimba served this country with honesty, dedication and nationalism in various capacities as a teacher, mobiliser, administrator and politician,” Ssekandi said.
Ssekandi said Ntimba’s death was not only a great loss to his family and Ankole region, but also to the party and Uganda.
“As a member of the National Resistance Council (NRC) from Mbarara Municipality, he was an outstanding peacemaker and developer. He worked tirelessly and successfully to ensure that Mbarara develop,” he added.
Read late John Ntimba's profile in Tuesday New Vision