By our reporter
Veteran politician, former Democratic Party (DP) President and property mogul, John Ssebaana Kizito has died at 83!
Ssebaana who also served as Kampala city mayor died at Nakasero hospital where he was admitted two weeks ago.
He had been admitted to Nakasero Hospital’s intensive care unit about two weeks ago in critical condition following a stroke which hit him damaging some right part of the body including the brain.
Dr Joseph Okia, one of the doctors who were attending to Ssebaana, said he died at about 10.30 am on Monday from a stroke. Democratic Party President Norbert Mao confirmed the news.
“Rest in Peace President Emeritus Dr John Ssebaana Kizito. You emphatically loved Brain Power at play in the game of politics,” reads Mr Mao’s message on DP’s twitter wall.
Mr Joseph Mubiru Kizito who works with World Bank in New York is the only known surviving son of Ssebana after two of his sons; Edward Kitaka and Job Kizito died in 2005 and 2006 respectively.
He also has four daughters: Ms Ruth Nasuuna his first born, Joyce Kizito Kajoba a Pharmacist, Ms Jeniffer Kizito an engineer and Ms Christine Kizito a Chemist.
Born in 1934, Ssebaana was the DP President from 2005 to 2010. He was also a member of the University Council of Ndejje University. He is reported to be one of the wealthiest people in Uganda, having sizable holdings in real estate and insurance.
He attended Kings College Budo and graduated at Makerere University. In 1960, he graduated with a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Economics from the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon, in the United States.
Ssebaana was one of the few veteran politicians in Uganda, with his political career going as far back as pre-independence Uganda. He has therefore, surprisingly served and survived as a civil servant and politician in several of Uganda’s eras of tyranny and political turmoil, including under Idi Amin, Milton Obote, and the current Museveni’s National Resistance Movement government.
In 1960, he served as a National Executive Officer. He served as a member of the East African Legislative Assembly, an arm of the East African Community from 1967 until 1977. From 1977 until 1980, he served as the chairman of National Insurance Corporation. In 1980, he was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Kampala South Constituency, winning 90 percent of the votes. He was the Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs between 1981 until 1985 and was Acting Leader of the Opposition in 1983.
He served as Minister of Cooperatives and Marketing from 1985 until 1987, as Minister of Regional Cooperation from 1987 until 1988 and as Minister of Housing and Urban Development from 1989 until 1991.
He was a member of the Constituent Assembly that drew up the 1995 Ugandan Constitution, serving on the assembly as a member representing Makindye East Constituency. From 1994 to 1995, he served as chairman of the National Caucus of Democracy.
Between 1998 and 2006, Ssebaana was twice elected as Mayor of Kampala, Uganda’s capital city, replacing Nasser Sebaggala in 1999 and being replaced by Nasser Sebaggala in 2006. Ssebaana was the Democratic Party’s candidate in the 23 February 2006 presidential election.
In 1982, John Ssebaana Kizito, together with a business associate, Joseph William Kiwanuka, established Statewide Insurance Company, Uganda’s first private insurance company located on Bombo road, for which he served as chairman of the board.
According to Mp Busiro North constituency Hon.Medard ssegona who is Charman organizing committee for Ssebaana’s burial arrangements, the veteran politician will be buried on Saturday at 2pm at his ancestral home in Mpande village, Nyimbwa Sub-county in Luweero District. Rip.