KAMPALA – All Uganda Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) campuses across the country are gathered at YMCA headquarters in Kampala for a special prayer session in honour of YMCA.
Uganda National Executive Director Dr Robert Jjumba who passed on last Wednesday.
Dr Jjumba collapsed and died last Wednesday in his hotel room in Lisbon, Portugal, where he had gone to attend a conference. Ever since his death was announced, Ugandans from across the divide have eulogized Dr Jjumba as a man who worked hard to lift YMCA from obscurity to one of the top and most recognized institutions in the country.
In a special prayer session held yesterday (Wednesday) at YMCA-Jinja campus where Dr Jjumba served as both executive director and chairperson governing council, speaker after speaker described Dr Jjumba as an illustrious man who used his storeyed academic career to serve humanity.
The YMCA-Jinja campus principal Lambert Okure Drata lauded the deceased for his impeccable character and dedicated service to the YMCA- community in Uganda and beyond.
“He has served YMCA as executive director for 25 years and fought hard to ensure that YMCA Comprehensive Wandegeya is turned into a university,” Drata said.
He described Dr Jjumba as a man who wore his heart on his sleeve, something that made him a darling of all and sundry.
During the same prayer session, the chairperson YMCA board of directors, Rev. Fr. Richard Kayaga, said YMCA has lost a teacher, an educationist, a parent and an innovator.
He said Dr Jjumba believed beyond doctrines that divide human beings and appointed Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, a Muslim and Democratic Party (DP) stalwart, as the institution’s lawyer yet he (Dr Jjumba) was a staunch movement supporter and a catholic.
“Dr Jjumba believed beyond our divisions. He is a testimony that we can subscribe to different doctrines but still live together as one,” Kayaga said.
Former YMCA-Uganda president Janet Kyemba said Dr Jjumba loved humanity and ensured that all YMCA branches flourish, including the Kasese and Mbale branches that were on the brink of collapse.
“Dr Jjumba was a mentor and team player who never made decisions without consultation. He always brought out his ideas in council meetings and he was a perfect implementer,” she said.
Ms Kyemba said that service to others is the rent we pay for our room in heaven and urged everybody to refuel their candles through serving humanity.
“Each one of us has got their candle burning but it will one day burn out. Let us use our service to others to refuel our candle so that when the creator comes for us, He finds our candle burning,” she said, adding that Dr Jjumba’s candle was found burning thanks to his dedicated service to humanity.
Who is Dr Jumba
Dr Jumba was born on June 30th, 1956. In 1981, he acquired a diploma in Primary and secondary education from Kyambogo Teacher’s College. In 1984, he enrolled at Makerere University for a bachelor’s degree in History and Social Administration. He thereafter proceeded to Uganda Management Institute for a Post-Graduate diploma in Public Administration which he completed in 1988.
He then joined Makerere University for a Masters degree in Education Management and Planning, completing in 1992. In 2002, he acquired another Masters degree in Management Studies from the Uganda Management Institute. Between 2008 and 2011, he pursued a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Administration from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa.
Dr Jumba started working at YMCA-Uganda on October 1, 1994, as the national secretary-general. The position was later changed to national executive director. He has served in the position until his death on July 23th,2019. Dr Jjumba is survived by a wife and four children.