Paul Kawanga Ssemogerere born on 11 February 1932 in present-day Kalangala District, 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. #WhisperEyeNews
He attended St. Henry’s College Kitovu for his high school. He received a Diploma in Education from Makerere University in Kampala. He studied the Politics and Government Program at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania. In 1979 he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in public administration from Syracuse University in Syracuse, New York.
In 1961–62 Ssemogerere was elected as a member of the Uganda Legislative Council and afterward of the National Assembly of Uganda as a Member of Parliament for North Mengo Constituency. In 1972, he replaced Benedicto Kiwanuka as the leader of the Democratic Party, having previously served as his Parliamentary Secretary. Following the 1971 coup, Ssemogerere was in exile until 1979, when he returned as Minister of Labour.
In 1980, Paul Ssemogerere assumed leadership of the Democratic Party. In 1984, he was reelected as leader over the challenge of Okeny Atwoma. In response to Okeny Atwoma’s unsuccessful challenge, Atwoma established the Nationalist Liberal Party alongside former minister Anthony Ochaya, Cuthbert Joseph Obwangor, and Francis Bwenge.
Ssemogerere was a Presidential Candidate in the disputed 1980 General elections which were won by Milton Obote’s Uganda People’s Congress.
Ssemogerere then became the leader of the parliamentary opposition from 1981 to 1985. He was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs during the presidency of Tito Okello (1985–86).
After Yoweri Museveni became president in January 1986 following a coup, Ssemogerere was consecutively Minister of Internal Affairs 1986–88 Foreign Affairs (1988–94), and Public Service (1994–95) and at the same time held the post of deputy prime minister in Museveni’s National Resistance Movement government (from 1986).
He resigned from his government posts in June 1995 because he was the presidential candidate for the mainstream opposition, but he lost the 1996 disputed presidential elections to current president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Ssemogerere was 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 at that time.
Ssemogerere is married to Germina Namatovu Ssemogerere, a professor of economics at Makerere University. Their children include Grace Nabatanzi (1963–2011), who married Gerald Ssendaula, 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.
By the time of his death, Dr. Paul Kawanga had called for political unity among Uganda’s opposition political players.