Alhaji Nasser Ssebagala critically ill, hospitalised

Former Kampala Mayor Nasser Sebaggala is admitted at Kibuli Hospital over complications related to food poisoning. However, according to his young brother and Kawempe North MP, Latif Sebaggala, Ssebagala is not in critical condition.

He was admitted at Kibuli Hospital, Kangulu Ward on Thursday. Latif told Our Reporter yesterday that his elder brother had suffered food poisoning after eating jackfruit.

“After eating the jackfruit, he developed stomach upset and vomiting. When he checked at the hospital, the doctors deemed it prudent to have him admitted,”

Sebaggala said, adding:

“He will be discharged today if all factors remain constant.”

According to UK’s National Health Services, most cases of food poisoning are caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites, rather than toxic substances in the food. However, some cases of food poisoning can be linked to either natural or chemical toxins. Food allergy, on the other hand, is an abnormal response to a food triggered by one’s body’s immune system and is different from food poisoning.

When food starts to rot, it develops bacteria, breeds viruses and may be infested with parasites. These or the toxins they produce may cause food poisoning. A renowned businessman, whose business tentacles grew exponentially in the wake of the 1972 expulsion of Asians by Idi Amin, Sebaggala began his political career by running for the position of mayor of Kampala in 1998. A member of the Democratic Party (DP) then, Sebaggala won the first direct elections for mayor of Kampala in 1998, beating two government-sponsored candidates.

However, he was arrested in the US two months later (in June 1998) on eight counts of fraud and lying to US customs officials. In February 1999, he received a 15-month prison sentence, but was paroled in December 1999. He returned to Kampala in February 2000 to a warm welcome and considered a bid for the 2001 presidential elections.

Thwarted on account of lack of the requisite academic qualifications, Sebaggala became a political kingmaker of sorts on account of his popularity. He endorsed Dr Kizza Besigye’s bid for the presidency as the first National Political Commissar of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) broke ranks with a party whose structures he had helped establish.

After quitting DP and toying with the idea of forming his own political party in the wake of Ssebaana Kizito defeating him in the race for the party presidency, Sebaggala hobnobbed with NRM, taking on the role of presidential advisor.

However, the 71-year-old resigned less than a year later, saying he had ended his alliance with NRM. Since then, Sebaggala, without explicitly announcing retirement from politics, has generally lived a quiet life out of sync with the media glare that characterized his days at City Hall.