Former Democratic Party president and two-time presidential candidate Dr Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere has passed on at the age of 90.
Ssemogerere who led DP for over 25 years died early Friday at his home in Rubaga. He was born on February 11, 1932, at Bumangi, Buggala island, Ssese.
In 1940, he started formal education at St John’s Boys Boarding primary school. He later joined St Henry’s College Kitovu’s primary section before it was abolished. Ssemogerere then went to Kisubi Boys where he completed his Primary Leaving Certificate in1946.
He obtained the Cambridge Overseas School Certificate in 1952. He enrolled at Makerere College, then the University College of East Africa, when it was still an affiliate of the University of London.
He underwent an Intermediate Course (the equivalent to a Higher School Certificate) and, thereafter joined the faculty of Education for a Diploma in Education (Dip. Ed. EA; 1959). Ssemogerere continued to pursue academics even as he practised politics and by 1979, he had obtained a PhD in Public Administration for a New York University.
He took over leadership of the DP in 1972 while parties were under proscription by the military government, and officially became its president general after the fall of Idi Amin in 1979.
Ssemogerere contested for president in December 1980, in the disputed election that led to the Luwero bush war as many believed he had been robbed of his victory. But he did not join the armed rebellion and instead went into parliament to lead the opposition.
After the fall of the Obote 2 government, Ssemogerere served as minister in the subsequent governments, until 1995 when he resigned in readiness to contest for presidency in the 1996 polls that were won by Yoweri Museveni.
Source: The Observer