DEAD: Former DP President John Ssebaana Kizito

Veteran Democratic Party (DP) politician, John Ssebaana Kizito breathed his last today aged 83, sending shock waves to those who cherished his life and works.

Commenting on his death, the DP President Nobert Mao said Ssebaana’s legacy was ‘DP’s gift to Uganda’ and that he was a pillar of democracy in the country and the DP in particular.

“In DP, he managed a difficult but peaceful transition of power from his generation to the young generation,” Mao, who said he was saddened by the death of his former mentor, said.

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Mao, a trained Economist, said Ssebaana “believed strongly in truth and justice.” He added that Sebaana was a ‘solid’ leader of Kampala who wanted inclusive development of the city where the low class would also participate.

“Mzee Sebaana’s death is a big loss to the country, said Mohamed Baswale Kesaala former DP Chairman, when contacted by EagleOnline to commend briefly about the late’s life as a family man, politician and businessman.

“We have lost an entrepreneur and humble politician who mentored the young people especially the Young Democrats. “He was our patron and always reached out to us despite his advanced age,” says Kezaala.

Kezaala praised the late Ssebaana for work smartly over the years to acquire his wealth. ‘Today young people want to acquire wealth in the shortest time possible. Mzee Sebaana accumulated his wealth over many years,” Kezaala said, urging the young generation to emulate the late.

Kezaala commended the late Ssebaana who he said stuck with the party during the turbulent times of the 1970s and 1980s. “As others crossed, Mzee Sebaana remained in parliament representing the DP,” Kezaala said of the late.

Kezaala said Sebaana resisted calls from the DP old guard not hand power to the young generation. “He handed the leadership of DP to Nobert Mao against the wishes of those who wanted the old generation,” Kezaala said, adding that Ssebaana was a true nationalist who contributed to Uganda’s development.

Kezaala also talked of his former boss and mentor, saying he loved people and always helped. “On the personal note he has been my friend dating back to my wedding 17 years ago. Until his passing on, he always referred to my wife as ‘Mugole’ (bride).”

He said the late Sebaana was hard working. “He was a down to earth man. Can you imagine that he would move in a wheel chair to go and work?” “I encourage Ugandans to emulate his work ethics,” Kezaala said.

Kezaala said Ssebaana, being a Muganda, loved Buganda and took its culture in high regard. “He was a darling of Mengo and attended meetings there.”

Kezaala said that Ugandans should emulate the late Ssebaana by working hard and sacrificing for the country. Above all, Kezaala says: “Mentoring the young ones is an obligation of the elders. If he had not mentored us, the country wouldn’t be benefiting from our services,” Kezaala said.

The Deputy Executive Director of the Uganda Media Centre Colonel Shaban Bantariza, when contacted, said Sebaana was a senior political leader in the country but said he was not qualified enough on the side of government to talk about the late, whose political career spans from the 1960s.