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Dr Paul Ssemogerere was President Uganda never had – Mao

Opposition politicians have paid glowing tribute to the former President General of the Democratic Party Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere. Ssemogerere died on Friday at his home in Lubaga Kampala.

Ssemogerere, a close family member told the Uganda Radio Network, has been suffering from bad health for the last few days and that last night his doctor checked on him at around 10 pm and all seemed not worrying. However, at around 4 am, he collapsed and died before he could be rushed to the hospital.

By the time of filing this story, his home had been sealed off to the public and only close relatives and senior politicians were allowed access. Among those who visited included the Lord Mayor of Kampala, Erias Lukwago, the former Vice President Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi, Bukoto Central MP, Richard Ssebamala, Buikwe South MP Bayiga Lulume among others.

Lukwago said the death of Ssemogerere is very painful, especially coming at a time when he was leading efforts to bring the opposition together. Lukwago, who with Bayiga and Matia Lwanga Bwanika, the Wakiso District LCV Chairperson are part of the organizing committee said Ssemogerere believed that the opposition had a lot of things in common that they would leverage to bring about change in the country. 

Ssebamala said the death of Ssemogerere leaves Buganda region orphaned because he has been the most senior opposition leader in the region. Ssebamala added that even in the midst of uncertainty, Ssemogerere never wavered in his beliefs in a peaceful transfer of power. It is unfortunate, Ssebamala added, that Ssemogerere has died without witnessing a peaceful transfer of power.

Taking to Social media, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, the leader of the National Unity Platform who is currently in Nairobi attending a human rights conference, said there are no words to describe the death of Ssemogerere.  “Today is a very dark day. Words cannot describe this loss. Mzee Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere stands tall amongst the giants of history. May his legacy live forever,” Kyagulanyi wrote in a short message.

Dr. Kiiza Besigye the four-time presidential candidate and former leader of the Forum for Democratic Change described Ssemogerere as Uganda’s leading icon in the struggle for democracy and good governance. “[He] never rested; never got discouraged; never got bitter; never lost his gentle smile…till this morning. What a loss at a most demanding time,” Besigye wrote on his Social Media platforms.

Norbert Mao, the President General of DP said the death of Ssemogerere has robbed Uganda of an indefatigable champion of non-violence, rule of law, and constitutionalism. “He practiced civility amidst extreme provocation by his detractors. He is clearly the best President Uganda never had,” Mao wrote on Twitter.

Ssemogerere who contested and lost the presidency twice in 1980 and 1996 and also served as a Member of Parliament and the minister is expected to be buried on Sunday at Nkumba Entebbe Waksio district.

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