Meddie Ssebagala recounts Seya's last moments

Sebaggala died on Saturday morning, after three weeks at IHK. He was 72 years old.

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The younger brother of the late former Kampala mayor Al-Hajj Nasser Ntege Sebaggala aka Seya has recounted the last moments of his life.

Meddie Sebaggala told New Vision on Sunday that he last talked to Seya at about 11:00pm on Friday, at International Hospital Kampala, where he had been admitted for weeks.

“He was feeling better. We spent a jolly evening together, chatting about our family and politics. We were looking forward to being discharged on Sunday,” he said at their ancestral home in Kisaasi, Kawempe Division.

Meddie, however, said the following day, at around 8:00am, he was informed that Seya had a breathing problem and was in a high-dependency unit.

“I then gave him a call, but he was not answering. I decided to rush to the hospital, where I was told his heart had stopped, but the doctors successfully resuscitated him. However, when the heart stopped again, efforts to revive him proved futile,” he said.

Saturday, as he was preparing to try to get a third term as mayor of Kampala under the National Unity Platform party, led by Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine.

Meddie said Seya will be greatly missed. “He was the heir to our father, Hajji Shaban. He was also our mentor and unifier. He cut across all age groups and religions because of his social and down-to-earth approach,” he said.

Seya’s step mothers — Hajjat Aisha and Hajjat Nabukalu said he was a strong pillar of the family and always guided his siblings on every matter.

“He was a lovely son, gentle and caring. He treated us well,” Nabukalu said in an interview. However, both of them said they never had an opportunity to visit him in the hospital.

“He told us not to visit him, saying he would get better soon. But we would get regular updates on his situation,” Aisha revealed.

Meddie said Sebaggala, willed that he should be buried after three days, to enable his children abroad, to also attend his funeral.

“He has children in America, Canada, Australia, UK, and Finland. Some are aged over 40 years. So, the burial has been put back to next Sunday, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions,” he said.

What mourners say

Former Mengo minister and presidential adviser Robert Sebunya spoke about Seya in glowing terms.

“He was a straightforward person and liked everybody. He was not selfish. His absence in Ugandan politics is a huge blow, especially to the youth who are joining elective politics. But let whatever he has done be a lesson,” he said.

Sebunya, who was among mourners gathered at Seya’s ancestral home, said he worked very closely with the two-time  Kampala mayor during the 2016  general election. “We traversed many parts of the country together, campaigning for President and when he was going to write his resignation letter as a presidential advisor for special duties, he asked for my advice. I advised him not to resign because he needed the system, but he didn’t heed my advice,” he said.

Eng. John Baptist Walusimbi, the former Buganda Kingdom Katikkiro, also eulogised Seya as a hardworking man.

“He was my younger brother in the Ffumbe clan and when I saw him working with his late father in Nakasero Market at a young age, I got impressed. I was greatly surprised in the late 1970s when I found him owning a big shop on Kampala Road. So he was a hardworking person who also wanted others to emulate him,” he said.

Although in his Will he stated that he did not want his burial to be delayed beyond three days, Hajji Nasser Sebaggala’s family on Saturday decided to lay him to rest next Sunday. Upon his demise on Saturday, the family and friends of the late Sebaggala convened in a meeting to discuss the wake, the unpaid medical bills, and burial arrangements.

In the meeting, the deceased’s Sebaggala’s younger brother, Farouk Ntege, delivered a copy of the Will, that stated that he should not be buried immediately, but his burial should not also be delayed beyond three days.  This was also confi rmed by Sebaggala’s lawyer, who attended the meeting.

Sebaggala reportedly sought to enable all his children who reside abroad, to fl y into the country and attend his send off.

Sebaggala was first admitted on September 8, in the Intensive Care Unit, at International Hospital Kampala (IHK) after developing stomach complications.

Born to the late Hajji Shaban Ssebagala, (Ntege) Sebaggala was the first born of 27 children. He subsequently emerged as head of one of Kampala’s most influential political families.

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