It was a happy family of 26 members. The family of my late jjaja Zakalia Sserunjogi. Jjaja was a tax driver on Luwero Bombo Kampala road.
Jjaja could bring meat enough for 26 of us, three days in a week, and fish one other day. Fruit Bofulo that big bread of the time was always there on Jumma and Sundays. I can’t forget those religious big days of the time. The fisting would be the envy of many of today’s families.
One day jjaja Zakaria was kidnapped by Amin’s henchmen. He was forced into the boot of those then notorious Toyota estate cars, like today’s Drones. Jjaja must have been murdered because he was never found since that black day of June 1977 to date.
Jjaja disappeared with everything. Our home seized to have meat, fish, bread, and happiness. His car a Peugeot 404 reg number UYT 387 was seen around Kalerwe driven by a soldier a week after the kidnap. No where could dad and the uncles report unless they were demanding for their death too.
Once in a while Mwami Ssentamu Kiwenenya a family friend of late jjaja, brought meat and bread for us. Jjaja mukyala would be very grateful, but with tears running down her face. This reminded her the pain of her lost husband.
Later we all left one by one, scattered and joined other families. For I joined back my father the late Abdalah Mukiibi at Namulonge research station. And that was the end of the happy family of Jjaja Zakaria.
When I saw Hon Ssegirinya Muhammad distributing food to the families of those missing in action for political reasons (supporting Kyagulanyi), I remembered the ordeal we went thru when jjaja was kidnapped and murdered. It is very similar to what these young families are going thru. All the happiness has disappeared from thier homes.
As Ssegirinya donated, and mobilized funds for rent, some mothers were wiping tears. The pain of their incarcerated husbands over powered their happiness. Many of us felt broken too. This has made Ssegirinya a darling of many.
I have never met Hon Ssegirinya in person. I always see him on social media and Tv. The guy is charismatic and knows how to play politics dramatically. He knows how to appeal to his electorate. The guy started jockingly as “Ambassador of Kyebando” calling on Radios. Later to LC5 counsellor, he gave a try to become a speaker of KCCA council. Man today Muhammad is in parliament. The way he is playing his cards, Ssegirinya is appealing to all Kampala people.
I predict Ssegirinya, will surprise everybody as he stand to speak on the flour of parliament unlike many new comers who fear that podium. And in future if our politics take the same course, I see Ssegirinya in that big city hall chair. Ugandan no longer vote for intellectuals but for those who either excite or appeal them. Ssegiriya knows that game.
The post of mayor has been evolving. Those who saw Mayors like Walusimbi Mpanga and Ssemaganda are my witnesses. They were not mayors of books but of money and dignity. I’m yet to find out whether they were even paid salary. Once Mayor Walusimbi Mpanga donated 30 garbage cooker vehicles (Benz) for the city from his own pocket. Ssebaana was rich, an intellectual but a “Mukono gum”. Ssebagala was rich and exciting. Lukwago is an intellectual, am yet to understand his heart.
This political dynamism in Uganda has moved us from Rich mayors, to Mayors of books (intellectuals). Soon from what I see we are moving to mayors of good hearts like the Ssegirinya’s.
In all I love Ssegirinya’s real dramatic character it shall win him diehards.
Thanks Muhammad for the heart.
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