President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni yesterday Sunday October 4th 2020 paid tribute to the fallen former Kampala City mayor and adviser to the president, Al Haji Nasser Ntege Ssebaggala”aka Seya” during his send-off at his parent’s home in Kisaasi, a Kampala suburb.
Mr Museveni in his condolence message read out by the second deputy Prime Minister Ali Kirunda Kivejinja amid booing from the people power mourners, described Ssebaggala as one of the pioneers of entrepreneurship in the country.
“On behalf of government and on my own, I wish to convey my heartfelt condolences to the family. Uganda has lost a great entrepreneur. He was among the first Ugandans to establish big enterprises. He devoted his prime years of life to serve Ugandans. We pray that his outstanding service will be a form of inspiration to most Ugandans,” he said.
Ssebaggala, 72, succumbed to cardiac arrest at Kampala International Hospital (IHK) on September 26, but he could not be buried immediately in accordance with the Islamic faith because the family had to wait for his children who were abroad. His family said he fell in his bathroom in Munyonyo on September 7 and was taken to IHK with abdominal complications.
The deceased had stated in his will that his children abroad should attend his funeral. Majority of them arrived last Thursday.
Earlier, Ssebaggala’s children eulogized their father and sought forgiveness from thousands of mourners for the delayed burial, contrary to Islamic culture of burying the dead immediately.
“On behalf of my late father, I want to request anybody with any sentiments about him to bury them. A lot has been said for breaking the Muslim norms but it’s us speaking, the reason for the delay,” one of Ssebaggala’s sons spoke to mourners.
He added: “His wish was stay for three days, however, we couldn’t make it [back to Uganda] within the three days for burial due to the Covid-19 restrictions. That is why we extended it to seven days. I pray and beg that you bury whatever hatchet you have against him today.”
Half way the tributes, the function turned political when the current Kampala District Woman MP. Nabilah Naggayi Sempala was invited to eulogize the deceased.
Ms. Naggayi, who recently left Forum for Democratic Change party (FDC) to join National Unity Platform (NUP) headed by Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, instead turned the burial ceremony into a campaign.
“The wave of the political change that is being brought about by Kyagulanyi, we the women should be given a chance because we are able. I will serve you as I have always been doing,” Ms Nabilah said amidst chants of NUP slogans of “People Power, Our Power”.
Shortly after MP Naggayi, Mr Kyagulanyi took the microphone and spoke of Ssebaggala as his father in many aspects including politics.
Other dignitaries attended the burial include Makindye west MP. Mr. Allan Ssewanyana, David Kalwanga, Kenny Lukyamuzi among others.