By Juliet Lukwago
Senior Catholic priest Fr. Joseph Kalyabe has died at 93.
Until his death Fr. Kalyabe, who died of throat cancer Wednesday morning at Nsambya Hospital, was the assistant Parish Priest of Mulajje Catholic Parish in Kasana-Luwero Diocese.
Despite his old age, Kalyabe was actively engaged in farming at his residence in Mulajje Parish in Luweero district.
Kalyabe, was an ardent advocate of the environment, loved planting trees and always got angry with people who cut down trees.
In an interview with the New Vision a few months ago, Kalyabe hoped to live longer to enjoy the fruits of his labour. He had a pine tree forest on eight acres of land.
“Moreover, all that I have ever harvested since I was born, I am not the one who planted. Those who planted them have since died.
"It is now nine years since I planted the pine forest, so was I counting 11 years to the harvest. He was also had sizeable garden of Feminaria trees.
Kalyabe was born in on December 21, 1921 at Kkonge-Lukuli, Makindye division to the late Candida Nabulya Kaggwa and Yoana Petro Kaggwa Katongole (of Ente Clan) who was a clerk in the Buganda treasury. He was third of nine children.
He was a brother to Fr. Peter Bwangwa of Christ the King Church in Kampala.
Kalyabe started his primary education at Gayaza and St. Peter’s, Nsambya. He joined Nyenga Minor Seminary where he studied from 1937-19 43.
He advanced to Ggaba National Major Seminary in 1943 and was ordained a sub-deacon in 1950. Bishop Vincent Billington ordained him a priest in 1951.
The late worked at Nyenga, Malongwe, Namugongo, Nkokonjeru, Buvuma and Nsambya parishes. He also worked as the Kampala archdiocesan education secretary, as chaplain of central prisons.
Kalyabe was the Catholic chaplain of the Uganda Army, between 1971 and 1979. He underwent a year-long military training in Jinja.
After graduating as a commissioned officer and captain, he worked as OC Odolosa Bondo Barracks in Arua.
Kalyabe was promoted to the rank of captain in 1978. After Amin had been deposed a year later, he applied to return and serve the church.
According to one of priests at the diocese, Fr Augustine Mpagi, Kalyabe will be laid to rest at St. Kizito Parish Katikamu tomorrow (Thursday).