By E. K Benj, Kampala Uganda.
Key Uganda political figure Nasser Ntege Ssebagala has passed on moments ago at International Hospital Kampala -IHK according to Hon Latif Ssebagala a family member.
Sources say “Seya’s” (nick name meaning comrade) health deteriorated health on Thursday evening at IHK where he had remained hospitalized for the last few weeks and has been on life support. The illness started when he fell in bathroom at his residence at the time he had expressed interest in Mayoral seat with newly formed National Unity Party – NUP of Hon Kyagulanyi Ssentamu aka Bobi Wine vying to unseat Uganda’s long serving Head of State Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
A former Kampala Lord Mayor, Ssebagala’s vast political experience saw him serve as Senior Presidential advisor, a position he resigned recently.
Nasser Ntege Sebaggala has been a businessman and politician who was Mayor of Kampala from 2006 to 2011. He was an independent presidential candidate in the 2006 general election before dropping out and joining the Kampala mayoral race.
Background and education
He was born in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, on 15 November 1947.
Following the expulsion of Asians by Idi Amin in 1972, Nasser Sebaggala acquired a supermarket called UGANTICO on Nkrumah road the lower entrance to current CHAM towers an electronics and clothes store on Kampala Road, the main thoroughfare in Kampala. His business interests grew over time. In 1998, he began his political career by running for the position of Mayor of Kampala. Ostensibly 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. When his academic papers were queried Nasser decided to back Rtd Col Kizza Besigye who wasn’t known in Uganda’s political scene.
His endorsement of Besigye with a slogan “Hajji alagidde tuwe Besigye obululu” Hajji has commanded we vote BESIGYE was the beginning of a new political dawn that would see Museveni face a difficult time a new force in opposition that Besigye has sustained for decades until Bobi Wine emerged who Besigye has succumbed to.
In mid-December 2005, Nasser 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 himself, 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.
Political analysts asses that without Ssebagala Besigye and Uganda’s opposition would not be vibrant.
Ssebagala will be buried on Sunday 04th October 2010 at his ancestral home.