Government Grants Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere 17 Gunshots Despite Family Protest

Dr. Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere, a former Democratic Party (DP) stalwart, was buried at Nattale, Nkumba, despite disagreements between the widow and the state over whether the deceased should receive a gun salute or an official burial. The state ultimately got its way. The misunderstanding began on Sunday during the funeral vigil when the late general’s family announced that the former DP president had requested a simple burial, rejecting President Museveni’s order for an official burial.

In a meeting with representatives of the deceased person’s family, led by John Kawanga, Ssemogerere’s widow, Dr. Germina Namatovu Ssemogerere, declined Museveni’s offer. However, Ssemogerere, the longest-serving DP President General, would receive a 17-gun salute during the last send-off, which infuriated the family.

The Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, who served as President Museveni’s chief mourner, told the mourners that she was only acting as a messenger and had little power to influence the government’s policy.

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“His excellency the president has directed that he be accorded an official funeral. The Constitution states that one who reach at the level of prime minister is accorded 17-gun salute. I am just a messenger, let me leave the matter there,” she repoted.

“People have said a lot of things that I cannot respond to due to time but let me tell you this, when someone is given official burial, government is responsible for all the expenses.” Nabanja added

Nabbanja stated that Ugandans should all aspire to be as peaceful as Ssemogerere was, adding that she had seen numerous errors that needed to be fixed during the funeral. The Katikkiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga praised the late for standing up for the interests of the kingdom, particularly when he held several government roles.

“We have seen very many Baganda who when they secure a big position in the government, they start shying away from the issues regarding the kingdom. The late was a different person. He stood for Buganda when he was a very powerful person,” Katikiro keyed out on Kawanga.

Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, nicknamed Bobi Wine, the head of the National Unity Platform (NUP), stated that he grew up admiring Ssemogerere as an extraordinary statesman.

“He knew me as one of the many grandsons of Walakira. When I joined active politics 5 years ago, he took me under his wing and became my teacher and mentor,” he stated.

On Friday, November 18, Ssemogerere passed away suddenly at his residence in Kampala’s Rubaga Division. A post-mortem report determined that an acute urinary tract infection was the cause of death.

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