By Julius Mugaga Tukacungurwa/Umoja Standard.
Kampala, Uganda: Former Uganda’s Democratic Party (DP) President Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere has left earthly life at 90.
On Friday morning around 4am, Mr. Semwogerere pass on at his home in Rubaga Division in Kampala, a close family member told this website.
John Baptist Kawanga, the former DP President’s young brother said Friday morning that Ssemogerere’s health deteriorated Thursday at around 10 pm before his doctor was called to check on him and left.
“But throughout the night, he was not stable until in the wee hours of Friday morning when he returned from the shower and collapsed on his bed. He was pronounced dead moments later,” former Masaka Municipality Member of Parliament told journalists at his brother’s home in Rubaga Division.
The late’s last public appearance was last Sunday at Rubaga Cathedral in Kampala, and his death comes as a shocker to the entire DP fraternity which leaves behind a huge leadership vacuum in the embattled opposition party.
“He was virtualy the head of our family and we all grew up in his hands. We have our ancestry in Ssesse island but his burial will be in Nkumba in Busiro county where we all grew up from,” added Mr John Baptist Kawanga.
His body has been taken to Rubaga Hospital for postmortem. His burial will be in Nkumba in Busiro county on a date yet to be announced.
Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago said he was devastated by Ssemogerere’s demise and described him as a true statesman who has been working hard to unite forces of change in Uganda.
“We learnt of his death early in the morning and we were devastated. I was with him on Monday this week and we were discussing a number of things with him, Dr Lulume Bayiga and others. He dedicated his life on uniting forces of change in this country. He was a strong man and has been pursuing unity. He had given us different assignments and I was supposed to meet him today to follow up on our engagement,” Lukwago said in a brief presser to journalists on Friday morning.
He added; “It’s really sad that he has not lived to see the moment he worked so hard for. He’s been a true statesman and a godfather to many of us. He’s been our mentor. Since I cut my political teeth, I have been in his hands and he has always moulded us. A week hardly passes without me and him having a chat about many things including the future of this country.”
Kawanga, a veteran politician is remembered for having served in different portfolios as a minister in the NRM ruling government before he fell out with the incumbent president Museveni.
He was an uncle to Kampala Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere.
Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere (born 11 February 1932) in present-day Kalangala District, in the Buganda Region of Uganda,was the leader of the Democratic Party in Uganda for 25 years and one of the main players in Ugandan politics until his retirement in 2005.
Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere (born 11 February 1932) in present-day Kalangala District, in the Buganda Region of Uganda, was the leader of the Democratic Party in Uganda for 25 years and one of the main players in Ugandan politics until his retirement in 2005.
- 1961–62 Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister Benedicto Kiwanuka
- 1963–69 Publicity Secretary Democratic Party
- 1979–81 Member National Consultative Council
- 1981–85 Leader of the Official Opposition
- 1984–94 Vice President Christian Democratic International
- 1985–88 Minister of Internal Affairs
- 1988–90 Chair OAU Council of Ministers
- 1988–94 Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Regional Affairs
- 1994–95 Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service
- 1999 Brought the first of 5 landmark cases that outlawed the Movement System and set stage for return of Political Parties to Uganda.
- 2005 Retired as DP President to private business.
2011 Honored as Sabasaba 2011 by Sabasaba Flame Award, for being an all time pro-Democracy and peace politics