Paul Ssemogerere

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Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere (born 1932 in Kisubi, Uganda) was the leader of the Democratic Party in Uganda for 25 years and one of the main players in Ugandan politics until his retirement in 2005.

Early life and education[edit]

Ssemogerere was born on 11 February 1932 in Kisubi, Uganda.[1] He attended St. Henry's College Kitovu for his high school. He received a Diploma in Education from the Makerere University in Kampala, subsequently he studied the Politics and Government Program at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. In 1979 he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York. Between 1957 and 1973 he taught at various colleges in Uganda.

Political career[edit]

In 1961–62 Ssemogerere was Elected Member of the Uganda Legislative Council and afterwards of the National Assembly of Uganda as MP for North Mengo Constituency. In 1972, he replaced Benedicto Kiwanuka as the leader of the Democratic Party,[citation needed] having previously served as his Parliamentary Secretary.[2] Following the 1971 coup, Ssemogerere was in exile until 1979, when he returned as Minister of Labour.[1]

In 1980, Paul Ssemogerere assumed leadership of the Democratic Party. In 1984, he was reelected as leader over the challenge of Okney Atwoma.[3] In response to Okney Atwoma's unsuccessful challenge, Atwoma established the Nationalist Liberal Party alongside former minister Anthony Ochaya, Cuthbert Obwangor, and Francis Bwenge.[4] This new party was eventually re-integrated with the Democratic Party of Uganda.

Ssemogerere was the Presidential Candidate in the disputed 1980 General elections which were won by Milton Obote's Uganda People's Congress.[citation needed] Ssemogerere then became the leader of the parliamentary opposition from 1981–85.[2] He was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs during the Presidency of Tito Okello (1985–86).[2]

After Yoweri Museveni became president in January 1986 following a coup, Ssemogerere was consecutively Minister of Internal Affairs (1986–88[2]), Foreign Affairs (1988–94) and Public Service (1994–95)[citation needed] and at the same time held the post of Deputy Prime Minister in Museveni's National Resistance Movement government (from 1986).[2] He resigned from his government posts in June 1995[1] because he was the Presidential Candidate for the mainstream opposition, but he lost the 1996 Presidential elections to Museveni.

Ssemogerere has also been a delegate to the Organisation for African Unity (OAU), and was Chairman of the OAU Council of Ministers from 1993 to 1994.

After his retirement from politics in November 2005, he was succeeded as party president by John Ssebaana Kizito, the Mayor of Kampala.

Personal details[edit]

Ssemogerere is married to Germina Namatovu Ssemogerere,[2] a Professor of Economics at Makerere University. Their children include Grace Nabatanzi (1963–2011), who married Gerald Ssendaula,[5] Karoli Ssemogerere an American trained lawyer, Anna Namakula a public policy analyst with the Foundation for African Development, Immaculate Kibuuka a fashion designer and Paul Semakula an ICT Consultant.

He is a member of the Roman Catholic religion.

Political timeline[edit]

  • 1961–62 Parliamentary Secretary to Chief Minister Benedicto Kiwanuka
  • 1963–69 Publicity Secretary Democratic Party
  • 1979–81 Member National Consultative Council
  • 1981–85 Leader of the Official Opposition
  • 1984–94 Vice President Christian Democratic International
  • 1985–88 Minister of Internal Affairs
  • 1988–90 Chair OAU Council of Ministers
  • 1988–94 Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and Regional Affairs
  • 1994–95 Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service
  • 1999 Brought the first of 5 landmark cases that outlawed the Movement System and set stage for return of Political Parties to Uganda.
  • 2005 Retired as DP President to private business.
  • 2011 Honored as Sabasaba 2011 by Sabasaba Flame Award, for being an all time pro-Democracy and peace politician

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Uwechue, Raph, ed. (1996). Africa who's who (3rd ed.). Africa Books. p. 1356. ISBN 090327423X. OCLC 36727692.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Pirouet, Louise (1995). Historical Dictionary of Uganda. Scarecrow Press. pp. 332–333. ISBN 978-0-8108-2920-6.
  3. ^ Aber, Patience; Langalanga, Tony (October 14, 2012). "Uganda: Veteran Democratic Party VP Dies, Aged 87". New Vision. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  4. ^ Bute, Evangeline; Harmer, H. J. P. (2016). The Black Handbook: The People, History and Politics of Africa and the African Diaspora. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 272. ISBN 1474292879, 9781474292870.CS1 maint: Ignored ISBN errors (link)
  5. ^