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Former DP President Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere dead

Man Jose Kayima

Former Democratic Party leader and one of the main players in Ugandan politics Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemwogerere is dead, family sources have confirmed.

The late died on Friday morning at his home in Lubaga. His body has been taken to hospital for postmortem.

Ssemwogerere served as the DP President for 25 years before he was succeeded by the late John Ssebaana Kizito.

He was born on 11 February 1932, in Uganda. He attended St. Henry’s College Kitovu for his high school. He received a Diploma in Education from Makerere University in Kampala. He studied the Politics and Government Program at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. In 1979 he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in public administration from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.

In 1961–62 Ssemogerere was elected as a member of the Uganda Legislative Council and afterwards of the National Assembly of Uganda as Member of Parliament for North Mengo Constituency. In 1972, he replaced Benedicto Kiwanuka as the leader of the Democratic Party, having previously served as his Parliamentary Secretary. Following the 1971 coup, Ssemogerere was in exile until 1979, when he returned as Minister of Labour.

In 1980, Paul Ssemogerere assumed leadership of the Democratic Party. In 1984, he was reelected as leader over the challenge of Okeny Atwoma. In response to Okeny Atwoma’s unsuccessful challenge, Atwoma established the Nationalist Liberal Party alongside former minister Anthony Ochaya, Cuthbert Joseph Obwangor, and Francis Bwenge

Ssemogerere was a Presidential Candidate in the disputed 1980 General elections which were won by Milton Obote’s Uganda People’s Congress. Ssemogerere then became the leader of the parliamentary opposition from 1981 to 1985.He was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs during the presidency of Tito Okello (1985–86).

After Yoweri Museveni became president in January 1986 following a coup, Ssemogerere was consecutively Minister of Internal Affairs (1986–88), Foreign Affairs (1988–94) and Public Service (1994–95) and at the same time held the post of deputy prime minister in Museveni’s National Resistance Movement government (from 1986). He resigned from his government posts in June 1995 because he was the presidential candidate for the mainstream opposition, but he lost the 1996 presidential elections to Museveni.

Ssemogerere has also been a delegate to the Organisation for African Unity (OAU), and was chairman of the OAU Council of Ministers from 1993 to 1994.

May his soul rest in Eternal peace.

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