Friday,November 27,2020 12:15 PM

Lubega fought a good fight

By Daniel Nsubuga Kikoyo

Added 10th September 2020 11:11 AM

Before his death, he prepared notations of Biblical Psalms in Luganda and gave his copyrights to Church of Uganda.

Lubega fought a good fight

Andrew Samwiri Bogere Lubega

Before his death, he prepared notations of Biblical Psalms in Luganda and gave his copyrights to Church of Uganda.


On May 9, the people of Kitettika Masooli in Wakiso district woke up to the sad news of the death of Andrew Lubega, a servant of God who was referred to as mulokole because of his love for Jesus.

It was a double tragedy because relatives, friends and all people of good will could not physically join Lubega's family in mourning him due to the COVID-19 lockdown.  

Lubega was born on April 19, 1939 to Andereya Goliyasi Lubega, a Gombolola chief and Maama Tamali Lubega, a committed born-again Christian Muzukufu.

He went to Kira Primary School and thereafter joined Ndejje Junior Secondary School, where he completed Junior Secondary III in 1958 and earned a Grade A junior secondary leaving certificate.

He also served as a head prefect of Ndejje School.

In 1959, he joined St. Francis Tutorial College for Cambridge School Certificate, after which he joined Mbale School of Hygiene for a diploma in public health, which he obtained in 1963.

He worked with the Ministry of Health in 1964 before enrolling for a diploma in social work at the College of Social Studies in Nairobi, Kenya.

The training in social work and administration enabled him to join Makerere Medical School on a grant from the British Empire Cancer Campaign (BECC) as a research assistant/medical social worker.

In the meantime, he was selected to attend a part-time personnel management course at Makerere University by Dr Mills when he was setting up the department of social work/administration.

He continued working at the Medical School up to 1970.

He was appointed in 1977 by the Imperial Chemical Industries to serve as the firm's medical representative in Uganda up to 1987 when he retired. 

Lubega was a hardworking entrepreneur who would never hesitate to start a business.

He was a pioneer in the private pharmacy business in early 1970s when he established Lily Pharmacy at Cham Towers, formerly Uganda Commercial Bank and Metropole Pharmacy on William Street.

He is credited with introducing and promoting use of many hypertensive and cancer drugs which are still in use.

He pioneered fast food outlets with establishment of the first city takeaway in the early 1990s near Watoto Church.

He was among the founders of CBS radio station.

Andrew was a devout Christian and a member of the Church of Uganda who was involved in many church activities.

He was a pillar of St. John's Church, Masooli and was instrumental in its development projects in Masooli and Gayaza Archdeaconry.

He was a leader of Masooli Church choir, which he guided to record hymns on LPs that played on the then trending ‘turn tables' in the late 1970s.

Before his death, he prepared notations of Biblical Psalms in Luganda and gave his copyrights to Church of Uganda. 

His service to Church echoed the scripture of St Mathew 5: 14-16, thus: "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden; Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light in the house"; and "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven". 

Lubega was laid to rest at his ancestral home on May 11 at Kilembwe, Bulemeezi in Luwero district.  

During the burial, the Rt. Rev. Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese, said Lubega never missed Brethren Fellowship at St Paul's Cathedral Namirembe every Friday and on Sundays would not miss Kyambogo or Kitende fellowships.

He further said Lubega was strong-hearted, active and hopeful and that even during periods of ill health, he continued to supervise the work of building ZABBULI House, an income-generating project for the choir at St John's Church, Masooli.

Making reference to Revelation 14: 13, he consoled the bereaved by reminding them that, "...Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on... they rest from their labour, for their deeds follow them". 

His Ngabi clanmate, the Rt. Rev. Jackson Matovu, Retired Bishop of Central Buganda Diocese, pointed out that Lubega was an honest man who radiated genuine love.

The retired bishop used to stay at Lubega's home during pastoral work in Masooli parish and would note with admiration his host's devotion to training church choir members of Masooli since he would sleep late while composing and writing church songs.

He credited him for composing Centenary Songs in 1977, for which he won several prizes.

Of particular note is a song derived from Psalm 39, which is used during funeral services. 

Herbert Kabanda, the archdeacon of Gayaza Archdeaconry, said Lubega was straightforward and condemned sin, but never hated sinners.

The writer, a Father's Union executive member at St Andrew's Church Bukoto, praised his deeds and recalled that he was a kind gentleman who used to give them lifts in his car as young children in Kitettika.

Apollo Matovu, the former head of laity Masooli Church, remembers Lubega as a Christian with unreserved commitment who fought to protect the church's land at Masooli.

Lydia Lubega and children Fred Lubega, a property developer, Solomy Lubega, an engineer based in the US, Rosette Ssekabanja, a business graduate, and Ann Mugisha, a pharmacist, as well as Prof. Dr. Edmond Bukenya, brother of the deceased, paid glowing tribute to Lubega for being a great husband for 52 years who showed love to his family without any reservation.

Andrew Samwiri Bogere Lubega April 19, 1939 - May 9, 2020

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