Veteran opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has paid tribute to fallen former Kampala Mayor Al Hajj Nasser Ntege Seya Sebaggala.
Medics at the International Hospital Kampala (IHK) pronounced Sebaggala dead on September 26.
Besigye described Sebaggala as “a good natured man, who wished others (especially, the less able) well and shared what he had generously.”
“He was a witty, creative, courageous & charismatic leader. He’d a great sense of humour and was very difficult to annoy. He became a leading and articulate voice of Uganda’s marginalized young people,” said Besigye.
The four-time presidential candidate also noted that “though he [Sebaggala] stumbled in later years, he’s left a big mark on Uganda’s liberation struggle.”
In 1998, Sebaggala was elected mayor but was, unfortunately, convicted on eight counts of making false customs declaration, bank fraud and transporting forged documents into the US.
After serving 11 months in US jail, Sebaggala returned home to a heroic welcome. He declared intentions to run for president.
But he lacked the requisite academic documents – and could therefore not be nominated as a presidential candidate.
He opted to back Dr Besigye’s bid for president.
Besigye, a former physician for then rebel leader Yoweri Museveni in the 1981-86 bush war, had fallen out with the regime and was challenging his former boss.
But Sebaggala would later join Museveni’s government as advisor for special duties.
In 2011, Museveni nominated Sebaggala minister without portfolio but Parliament rejected his appointment.
He has over the years oscillated in different political formations: from the Democratic Party, Progressive Democratic Alliance, Liberal Democratic Transparency (LDT), and National Resistance Movement (NRM).
By the time of his death, he was a member of Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s National Unity Platform (NUP).
He had expressed interest in the party’s flag for the Kampala mayoral race, but nominations happened while he was in hospital.