Jinja/Kampala – Uganda Young Democrats (UYD) President-elect, Ismail Kirya has mourned former Kampala mayor Nasser Ssebagala with praises for his contribution and tremendous work in building forces of change in Uganda.
The late Al Hajji Nasser Ntege Sebaggala, Former Kampala Capital City Mayor and prominent businessman died at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) on Saturday, September 26.
‘’For the people of Kampala and those he inspired around the country, Hajji Ssebagala’s passing is rightly a time of mourning and a time to celebrate his heroic life. He led the struggle to liberate Kampala City from the hands of NRM to the Democratic party and the opposition at large. The temple he set in 1997 as Mayor Kampala City in the hands of opposition up to date,’’ said Kirya.
Kirya added that Ssebagala traversed the whole country with Dr. Semwogerere
in 1996 during the latter’s presidential bid.
‘’UYD intensely recalls his address in Busembatya town council (Busoga sub-region) which pulled the crowd. He recruited and mentored many young people in UYD and DP during his 2001 presidential bid and those he recruited have continued with the struggle to date’’, added Ismail.
‘’His marketing of Col. Kizza Besigye’s 2001 bid under the reform agenda cannot be forgotten. He was in charge of the central and the Eastern axis as Col. Besigye traversed the rest of the country. The “Hajji agambye, tuwe Besigye akalulu” campaign song which rocked the whole country, energized the latter’s campaign, and put the establishment on tenterhooks will always be remembered. This was probably the greatest challenge to Mr Museven’s presidency after that of Dr Ssemogere’s in 1996, courtesy of Ssebagala.
When Ssebagala returned from America after serving a jail term, Entebbe Road got jammed to unprecedented levels, and never has it been so again. That love that the people of Uganda showered Hajji Ssebagala will not only be remembered but shall be always appreciated.
‘’The plane touched Entebbe airport tarmac at 10:00am, ordinarily should have taken 3-4 hours for the procession to reach his father’s residence in Kisaasi but it took 11 hours reaching Kisaasi at 9:00pm. Such love is unprecedented. Hajji Ssebagala was elderly yet he built a team of young men and women (UYD) around himself in all the political struggles’’, reflected Kirya.
According to information from Wikipedia, Ssebagala In began his political career in 1998 by running for the position of Mayor of Kampala. A member of the Democratic Party, Sebaggala won the first direct elections for mayor of Kampala in 1998, beating two government-sponsored candidates.
However, he was arrested in the United States two months later, in June 1998, on eight counts of fraud and lying to U.S. customs officials. In February 1999, he received a 15-month sentence but was paroled in December 1999
He returned to Kampala in February 2000 to a warm welcome and
considered a bid in the 2001 presidential elections.
In mid-December 2005, he broke with the Democratic Party (DP), after he came third in the party presidential primaries, which was won by Ssebaana Kizito, and registered himself as an independent. A week later, he reversed his decision, withdrawing his candidacy and announcing his support for Kizito. When he lost the Democratic Party nominations to Norbert Mao in 2010, he quit the DP and formed his own party.
Before his death, Ssebagala had expressed interest in contesting for Kampala Lord Mayor Seat in the forthcoming 2021 General Elections, saying he would challenge the current Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago on the National Unity Platform (NUP) ticket.
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In the new program, the deceased’s body will be taken to his home in Munyonyo on Thursday, October 1, where it will be kept until Saturday. On Saturday the body will be taken to Mariam Mosque in Kisasi for prayers and then to his familial home in Kisaasi where he’ll be buried on Sunday.