What you need to know:
- Prof Dranzoa, a former deputy director for graduate studies at Makerere University was, until her death on June 28 following a long illness, serving as the founding Vice Chancellor of Muni University in Arua City. She was 55.
A high-flying and ethical academic, prudent, forthright and foresighted leader, progressive career woman, and a trailblazing girl-child education advocate.
These and more accolades echoed posthumously for Prof Christine Dranzoa hours before her body was laid to rest, amid an emotional meltdown, at Moyo Catholic Mission in Moyo Town yesterday.
Prof Dranzoa, a former deputy director for graduate studies at Makerere University was, until her death on June 28 following a long illness, serving as the founding Vice Chancellor of Muni University in Arua City. She was 55.
In death, she united political rivals, the religious and agnostic as well as the elite and ordinary citizens to speak in her praise and about West Nile with one voice, and act with a unity of purpose and introspection.
Born a village girl, Dranzoa endured and surmounted a plethora of handicaps, among them lack of life’s necessities and cultural biases in a patriarchal society, to shatter glass barriers in academia and leadership.
A devout Catholic, where lay faithful and clergy held her in high esteem, the sprinkling of love for humanity was evident wherever she chanced.
Prof Dranzoa, who faced some teething power rivalries and opposition from within as Muni University Vice Chancellor, nonetheless built bridges at work and to connect and bind the less fortunate, especially girls, to advance formal education.
And that commitment did not go without recognition by President Museveni who, in a tribute read at yesterday’s burial by Vice President Jessica Alupo, hailed the deceased as hardworking, a pillar of education, a social educationist and leading contributor to the establishment and development of Muni University about a decade ago.
“I urge you mourners to emulate the late professor for [her] legacy of clean records set while serving as the vice chancellor of Muni University, and for always being truthful,” the President noted.
First Lady Janet Museveni, who as the Education minister was Prof Dranzoa’s political supervisor, praised her for laying a “strong foundation” for the Muni, the only public university in West Nile, from infancy. According to Ms Museveni, Prof Dranzoa was “had [a] very progressive profile and has left a clean record of service and she distinguished herself as a selfless servant who served with dignity and integrity”’.
The interment yesterday of the former vice chancellor was preceded in week by a flurry of activities --- an extra-ordinary Arua City Council session at Muni University, requiem masses at Makerere and Muni universities and another extra-ordinary sitting of the district councils of West Nile districts in Moyo.
The Arua City Council meeting resolved to name a road off Weatherhead Park Lane connecting to Muni University and onward to Euta Trading Centre in Prof Dranzoa’s name to immortalise her gains.
Muni University Council chaired by Mr Joel Aíta reportedly agreed to build a statue in honour of the deceased vice chancellor, name a building after her and hold annual Prof Dranzoa Memorial Lecture every June 28.
Speaking at the burial yesterday, Moyo District chairman Williams Anyama said: “We propose that all the district and urban councils in the West Nile region dedicate a road in every town council in honour of our fallen vice chancellor and we appeal that the respective local governments will domesticate this resolution in their councils.
The councillors proposed that all districts in the region and Arua City establish a library in each respective local government in honour of Prof Dranzoa.
Separately, Mr Anyama tabled a demand to government to upgrade Erepi Primary Teachers’ College in Moyo District to a Core Primary Teachers’ College in memory of Prof Dranzoa’s enormous contribution to education.
Prof Dranzoa, he said, had a strong desire to see Moyo Town Council upgraded to a municipality. Seizing on this desire, chairman Anyama yesterday asked President Museveni through Vice President Alupo to elevate Moyo, Yumbe and Paidha town councils – all in West Nile – to municipalities to expand the range, and improve the quality of services to the urban dwellers.