Council Chairpersons

Present & Past
Mrs. Lorna Magara
2018 – 2022

Mrs. Lorna Magara is a Ugandan educationist who is currently the Principal of Vine International Christian Academy, a leading private school in Uganda. She has been actively engaged in the sphere of education for over 20 years. As a human capital development and management expert with experience spanning over 30 years, she has served on several governing bodies of education organizations within and outside Uganda. Her philosophy is that education is a transformational process that is a key determinant in forming the character and quality of society. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Makerere University and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Management from Uganda Christian University. Lorna is the first female Chairperson of the Makerere University Council.

Eng. Dr. Charles Wana Etyem
2010 – 2018

Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem is a Ugandan civil engineer, veteran academic, and public administrator.  He is the Managing Director of Warner Engineering Consultants, a leading water and sanitation engineering firm in Uganda. Eng. Wana-Etyem worked as a Director at the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) for ten years. He has served as Chairman on many high profile Boards which include Makerere University Council (2010-2018) before being a Member of the Appointments Board of the Council (1997-2010); Uganda National Examinations Board (1997-2002); Uganda Polytechnic, Kyambogo, now Kyambogo University (1991-2001); Uganda Engineers Registration Board (2000-2006); and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Lango College, Lira, his alma mater (2010-2012). 

Mr. Mathew Rukikaire
2006 – 2010

Mathew Rukikaire is a veteran Ugandan diplomatic, politician, and businessman. He was a guild president at Makerere University in 1962, a historical moment when Uganda gained its independence from Britain. Shortly after University, Mr. Rukikaire served as the National Organizing Secretary of the Uganda People’s Congress from 1964 until 1966 when he was exiled in Kenya. In exile, he got a posting as East Africa’s Representative to the European Economic Community in Brussels. He later returned to Uganda and did both local and external mobilization work for the Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) cum National Resistant Army/Movement which he contributed to cofound. He was in the sixth parliament and also a Cabinet Minister in charge of Privatization from 1989-1999. 

Hon. Gabriel Opio
2002 – 2006

Mr. Gabriel Opio is a Ugandan economist and politician who served as the Cabinet Minister of Gender, Labor & Social Development, and the State Ministers for Finance and Higher Education in the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education respectively. Hon. Opio represented Samia Bugwe Constituency and Samia-Bugwe South in the Parliament of the Republic of Uganda from 1993 to 2001. Between 2002 and 2006, Hon. Opio served in various capacities, including as Director of National Water and Sewerage Corporation, Director of Centenary Bank, and Commissioner of the Uganda AIDS Commission. Hon. Opio holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Makerere University and a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Alberta. He also holds the degree of Master of Science in Finance from the University of British Columbia. 

Hon. Dr. David Byatike Matovu
1996 – 2004

Hon. Dr. D.B. Matovu is a Ugandan politician and administrator. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly and an MP representing Entebbe Municipality for 13 years (1994 – 2006). Dr. Matovu was also the Chairperson board of trustees of The Aids Support Organization (TASO) between 2001-2008. He has also been the Chairperson of Nkumba University and Victoria University Councils and a member of the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) where he was the Chairperson of the Appointments Board. He obtained his masters and doctoral studies from the Universities of Cologne and Brunswick in Germany.

Hon. Mathias Ngobi
1990 – 1996

Hon. M. Mathias Ngobi was a Ugandan politician and cabinet minister. He was Uganda’s first Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives from 1962 to 1966. Hon. Ngobi was also a Member of Parliament representing Butembe County at that time. Later, Hon. Ngobi served as Minister of Agriculture in 1979, a post he held for one year under President Binaisa’s government. While living in London as an exile between 1980 and 1985, Mathias was a practicing solicitor. He joined Makerere to study medicine but later dropped the course and went to Manchester University where he graduated with a degree in public administration. Hon. Ngobi died in Sept 2021 at the age of 99 years. 


Canon John Bikangaga
1972- 1990

Canon John Bikangaga was a Ugandan cleric, cultural leader, and public administrator. He was the first African headmaster of a secondary school in Uganda, serving at several schools including Kigezi High School and Makerere College School. Canon Bikangaga served as the equivalent of the King of the Banyakigezi for a short period between 1964 and 1966, when kingdoms were abolished. He headed the Public Service Commission in the 1970s and was the chairperson of the committee that drafted the Church of Uganda Constitution in 1972. Bikangaga died in Dec 2006 at the age of 85 years. To celebrate his life, the Rev. John Luke Orombi Foundation started the Canon John Bikangaga Trophy in his memory. The Ankrah Foundation Hotel in Mukono has also named an Auditorium in his memory. Canon Bikangaga served as the Makerere University Council Chairperson from 1972 to 1990 making him the longest-serving Chairperson of the University. 

Dr. I. K. Majugo
1966 – 1970

Dr. I. K. Majugo was a Ugandan politician and diplomat who served as the Minister for Common Market and Economic Affairs at the East African Community. Dr. Majugo was a nephew of the Umukama (King) Kabalega of Bunyoro Kingdom. Indeed, he represented Bunyoro in the National Assembly re-named Parliament on the attainment of independence. He also served as the chairman of the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) in the Bunyoro Kingdom. 

Hon. W. W. Kalema
1964 – 1965

Hon. W.W. Kalema was a Ugandan politician and industrialist who was the first minister for transport, housing, and communication. He also served as the Minister for Commerce and Industry in the first UPC/KY Alliance government. William Kalema was one of the 21 Buganda Members of Parliament who were nominated by the Buganda Lukiiko as it was stipulated in the 1962 Independence Constitution. He partnered with the late Dr. James Mulwana, one of Uganda’s industrial icons to set up some of the first African-owned industries in Uganda. Kalema was murdered by President Amin’s soldiers in 1972. Hon. William Kalema was the husband of Mrs. Rhoda Kalema, now a retired politician and social worker living in Kiboga.

H. E. Yusuf Kironde Lule
1960 – 1964

H.E. Yusuf Kironde Lule was a Ugandan professor and civil servant who served as the fourth president of Uganda between 13th April and 20th June 1979. He was educated at and taught at King’s College Budo. He also studied at Makerere University College, Fort Hare University at Alice, South Africa, and the University of Edinburgh. Lule served as a minister in the pre-independence British colonial government and later as an Assistant Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Secretariat. Upon Uganda’s independence in 1962, he became chairman of the Public Service Commission. Lule served as the principal of Makerere University College from 1964 to 1970, and was Assistant Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities, in Accra, Ghana, between 1973 and 1978. When the government of Idi Amin Dada fell, Prof. Lule formed a cabinet and was sworn in as the President of the Republic of Uganda but just after 68 days, a vote of no confidence on his administration led him out of the Presidency. Out of office, Prof. Lule formed Uganda Freedom Fighters (UFF) which later merged with the Uganda Patriotic Front (UPF) of the then rebel leader Yoweri Museveni.  The alliance birthed NRA which rose to the helm of political power in 1986. Prof. Lule died in London in 1985 at the age of 73 years. A road in Kampala City has been named in his memory. 

1960 – 1964

Sir Donald Charles MacGillivray was a Scottish colonial administrator who served Malaya and East Africa. He was educated at Sherborne School and Trinity College, Oxford. He earned a B.A. in 1928. He was selected for the Colonial Administrative Service in 1929 and was posted to Tanganyika. He earned his M.A. from Trinity College, Oxford in 1932. Sir MacGillivray also served as the Chairman of the State Council of the British Colony of Kenya. In 1960, he was appointed to the Monckton Commission to review the constitution of the Central African Federation. He died on 24 December 1966 at the age of 60 years. 

Sir R. De. S. Stapledon
1952 – 1960

Sir R. de. S. Stapledon was a British colonial administrator who first served in Nigeria before he was posted to East Africa where he was the Chief Secretary to all Provincial Commissioners. 

Sir Reginald Edwin Robins
1948 – 1952

Sir Reginald Edwin Robins was a British colonial administrator who was a member of the Development and Reconstruction Authority. He was the registrar of the Supreme Court of Kenya, and Uganda Railways and Harbors where he later became the Managing Director.