Leaders under their umbrella, the Interparty Organization for Dialogue (IPOD), led by its current Chairman and Secretary General of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) party, Rt. Hon. Richard Todwong, yesterday paid their last respects and eulogies to the members and supporters of the Democratic Party for the loss of their former President-General, Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, who died last week.
The Secretaries-General, who represented NRM, Uganda People’s Congress (UPC), JEEMA, and People’s Progressive Party (PPP), eulogized Dr. Ssemogerere at the DP headquarters at Balintuma Road in Mengo, Kampala.
On behalf of the IPOD, Rt. Hon. Todwong described Mzee Ssemogerere as a great pillar in the politics of Uganda who not only inspired DP members but also mentored and trained many young people on how to practice politics of principle.
“We come to join you in this painful loss that did not only affect you as a political party but also affected all of us as a country. The late stood tall amidst challenges that Uganda faced during his time, and so the nation has lost an icon,” Todwong said.
“He stood. He was sacrificed. He was abused. His victory was stolen, but with all this, he maintained calmness and peace for the sake of the country,” Todwong added as he praised the former minister.
Ssemogerere died on Friday, 18 November 2022 aged 90 years and was laid to rest on Monday, 21 November 2022 at Nattale- Nkumba, in Entebbe, Wakiso District.
He contested twice for the presidency – in 1980 and 1996, losing both to Dr Apollo Milton Obote and President Yoweri Museveni respectively. After a decade of service, he retired from active politics in 2005 but remained a senior figure in the Opposition until his death.
He led the DP for 25 years after replacing Benedicto Kiwanuka who was murdered in 1972. Dr Ssemogerere handed over the party leadership to the late John Ssebana Kizito 2005, the former Kampala City Mayor.