Kampala. The Nnabagereka (Queen Mother) of Buganda Kingdom Sylvia Nagginda, has told off government for neglecting the health sector because of politics.
“The health sector touches everyone in society. I had a conversation with the director of Mulago National Referral Hospital at the time dad was admitted there. He pointed out issues related to underfunding. This is a danger to society,” Ms Nagginda said.
She was speaking at Namirembe Cathedral during the funeral service of her father John Luswata Ssebugwawo, who succumbed to heart and kidney complications last week at 81.
The Nnabagereka said the problems within the health sector place the country at the risk of brain drain, a scenario that will leave the public suffering.
“We have qualified people-- doctors-- and many want to stay in Uganda. They can do incredible work but they need support. Let us see how to separate politics from the health sector,” Ms Nagginda told the mourners.
She said to prove Uganda has qualified people, a Ugandan-born and trained cardiologist received a public recognition award in the United States last week.
Nagginda and her siblings, without mentioning any specific deficiency in the health sector, said their father spent a week at the government referral hospital and was later transferred to Nakasero Hospital where he died.
“We are glad despite grief to be with you. Dad loved his children and I specifically remember his usual jovial mood. He focused much on his family and exhibited respect for us all and our mother. He was a good example as a family head,” Ms Nagginda added.
She recounted his father’s last moments and said: “I saw him cry for the second time in my life. When we visited the Intensive Care Unit, he opened his eyes but could not talk. Instead we saw tears flow. This was the second time I saw his tears. The first time being 37 years ago when he escorted me to Entebbe as I left for the Unites States.”
Ssebugwawo’s widow Edith to whom he had been married for 48 years described him as a great friend, father and a peaceful man.
“All issues were solved in love and mutual understanding,” she said.
Buganda Kingdom Premier Charles Peter Mayiga said: “Death is a must and a principle of nature to all living things. But Buganda should be consoled by the great gift of our Mother, Nnabagereka (Nagginda) that the late Luswata leaves behind.
The 1966 crisis left Buganda bereaved and for the preceding years after the crisis, there was a split in the royal family. Mr Luswata gave us a mother who is innovative and determined. She is the consolation we have at this point.”
He implored Ugandans to emulate the nature of family upbringing Mr Luswata exhibited.
The main celebrant, the Bishop of Namirembe Diocese, Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira, assisted by two bishops of West Buganda Henry Tamale Katumba and Luweero Diocese Edward Nsubuga, said testimonies of love from the family on their father tell he left the children prepared.
Mr Ssebugwawo will be buried today at Nkumba, two kilometres on Kasenyi Road from Abayita Ababiri.
He is survived by seven children; Slyvia Nagginda (queen of Buganda), Nelson Kikubira Luswata, Barbara Mbaliwowere Mutengu Luswata, Juliet Namagga Luswata Kinalwa, John Mulumba Luswata and Patrick Nsubuga.
Education . Ssebugwawo studied at King’s College Budo between 1946 and 1955 before joining Kyambogo Technical College where he studied Electrical Engineering. He later joined Holborn Technical College in Central London, the UK.
He worked in the field of electrical engineering in the Ministry of Works in Buganda Kingdom, Otis Company-England and Uganda Ministry of Health serving as a chief electrical engineer at Mulago Hospital and a superintendent of works in the hospital.
Ssebugwawo retired from Mulago National Referral Hospital in 1984 and went into farming and business.