Members of the Interparty Organisation for Dialogue-IPOD Council on Wednesday visited the Democratic Party-DP headquarters along Balintuma Road in Mengo Kampala to eulogise the late Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere.
Dr. Ssemogerere died last week at his home in Lubaga and was accorded a state funeral at his home in Nattale, Nkumba Wakiso District. Since his passing and sendoff, messages of mourning have continued to come in to both his family and the Party he led as President General for 25 years.
On Wednesday, the council which comprises of Secretary Generals of member political parties of IPOD which are, the National Resistance Movement -NRM, Uganda People’s Congress-UPC, Justice Forum Party-JEEMA, People’s Progressive Party-PPP, and the host, DP eulogized the late Ssemogerere, describing him as an icon of dialogue and peace in this country.
The DP Secretary General, Dr. Gerard Blacks Siranda says that while they are saddened by his passing, they are equally celebrating a life of a man who loved unity, dialogue and engagement even with people with whom he held personal grievances.
He says, Ssemogerere believed in unity and diversity, multiparty dispensations and the general unity of the Country. Dr. Siranda says that IPOD stands for the values that Ssemogerere espoused, putting Uganda first amidst all challenges.
The IPOD Council was led by the NRM Secretary General, who is the council chairman Richard Todwong and he too had only praises for the late Dr. Ssemogerere. He says he learnt of Ssemogerere when he was still a young boy and was mesmerized by the attributes he learnt that the late exhibited in his life as a Christian and a politician.
Todwong says that Ssemogerere exhibited high level of humility during his political career referring to the 1980 elections won by Dr. Milton Obote. Ssemogerere is said to have won the highly contested elections but his victory rigged by the Obote government. He chose to let go although there were views that he would go to court or even resort to a rebellion to rescue his victory.
He says that it takes a man of high humility and a big heart to choose peace and unity of his country at a time when his victory is snatched from him. He recognized Ssemogerere for the contribution he made in the leadership of this country and in grooming young people especially through the DP.
Todwong who also used the opportunity to praise DP for entering into a Cooperation Agreement with the NRM said that the country is currently divided on petty issues and losing focus on the bigger picture of globalization where countries are recognized by what they have to offer to the world.
He says that as politicians mourn the passing of Dr. Ssemogerere, they should reflect on his legacy and weight their actions to see if they have strong faith as he did, keep strong no matter the tough times and commitment to unity for the sake of the country.
The JEEMA Secretary General Muhammad Kateregga also delivered their condolences and hailed Ssemogerere for his relentless service to the growth and development of the political dispensation of the country.
Other Secretaries General who visited DP headquarters were Fred Ebil of the UPC and David Alira of the PPP. The IPOD Executive Secretary Frank Rusa was also part of the team.
According to the DP, they shall be in mourning and continue welcoming mourners to their offices up to close of next week.