By Alex Esagala
Legislators from across the political spectrum have on Thursday, November, 2022 paid glowing tribute to the late Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssewogerere, who was the leader of the Democratic Party for 25 years, and one of the main players in Ugandan politics until his retirement in 2005.
Dr. Ssewogerere aged 90 years passed on November 18, 2022, at his home in Rubaga in the outskirts of the city center.
Moving the motion to pay tribute to Dr. Ssewogerere, the Prime Minister and Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Robinah Nabbanja eulogised former DP leader who twice contested for presidency as an illustrious politician who served with distinction in several positions of responsibility.
“He tirelessly served this country and we all have a leaf to pick from his behaviour,” she added.
Medard Sseggona the Member of Parliament for Busiro East who seconded the motion, thanked government for granting Dr. Ssemogerere an official burial, saying he rightly deserved it.
“The late was a vanguard of democracy and rule of law even in circumstances of extreme disagreements.”
Ssegona petition Parliament to identify and name a prime road after Dr. Paul Ssemogerere.
Richard Lumu, the Member of Parliament for Mityana South said Dr. Ssemogerere was a strong advocate of federalism as the only pathway to achieve balanced economic development in the country.
“He died thinking of federalism and thinking of when and how Uganda will one day gain a federal status,” he said, also praising the late Dr. Ssemogerere for a reconciliatory approach.
“Whatever he did in his capacity. He died fighting for the people of this country,” Dr. Lumu added.
Rose Nantongo, the Member of Parliament for Kyotera District, the only female DP MP in the 11th Parliament described the late Dr. Ssemogerere as a leader who derived his joy in mentoring the young generation.
“That is why many of the young leaders in parliament passed through his hands.”
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa who presided over the Thursday afternoon session said the former DP leader, Dr. Ssemogerere never feared competition.
“Some of you colleagues are already crying that you have competitors in your constituencies but in politics you always have competition and if you utilize competition very well, it makes you better because it doesn’t allow you to sleep and in the end, the public benefits on both sides,” Mr. Tayebwa told MPs.
He added: “Let us allow a health competition and a constructive exchange of ideas as the late Hon. Paul Ssemogerere was doing it.”
The Deputy Speaker commended the government and the opposition for working together to pay tribute to Dr. Ssemogerere who he described as a great statesman and said the action gave a good example to the nation.
“You have given a good example that on matters on national priority you can work together and that’s very important especially for the young generation.”
Tayebwa asked legislators to live a healthy lifestyle like Late Ssemogerere because he lived up to 90 years still looking good.
“This means he lived a healthy life. We too can take good care of our bodies so that we are able to serve our people,” he said.