Parliament this afternoon paid glowing tribute to Mathias Nsubuga Birekerawo, the former Secretary General of the Democratic Party, who succumbed to a stroke on Sunday.
Nsubuga, 60, was described by speakers across the political divide as a distinguished leader who strongly believed in dialogue, transparency and peace.
The Speaker of parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga Nsubuga was not confrontational despite being a member of the opposition. He always believed in dialogue whenever there was a disagreement between political groups, Kadaga said.
//Cue in: (English) "it's a very...
Cue out:...our friend."//
//Cue in: (Luganda) "Nsubuga abadde...
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda also recounted how the Late Nsubuga early this year led a delegation to meet President Yoweri Museveni in which meeting political parties agreed to work closely together to resolve national issues through dialogue and building consensus.
Rugunda added that right from his youth, Nsubuga was a political activist who championed democracy and challenged the dictatorship of former president Idi Amin Dada.
//Cue in: "honorable Nsubuga...
Cue out:...political opinions."//
The Leader of Opposition (LOP) in Parliament Winnie Kiiza said that Nsubuga lived a distinguished life as a true believer in democracy, truth, justice and humanity.
"Nsubuga knew the value of friends, he had time for all his friends, even when you are not a friend to Nsubuga, he would find time for you as long as you have approached him", Kiiza said.
Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze (Deputy DP President) also testified that Nsubuga - the bridge builder would be able to reach out to all of them to try to build consensus and offer an opportunity for dialogue.
"It is that character that must have made him to be part of the Nairobi peace talks of 1985", said Nambooze.
She however told parliament that although dialogue is good, it can only succeed if you are negotiating with honest people.
//Cue in: "we should...
Cue out:...next day."//
Mathias Nsubuga was born on 26th November, 1956 to Vitali Wasswa and Matilda Mmeeme in Manja Village, Kisekka Sub-County, Bukoto County in Masaka, present-day Lwengo district.
The late Mathias Nsubuga's education journey took him through Manja Sub-grade School, St Philips Primary School, Kyanukuzi, Bukalasa Seminary and Uganda College of Commerce where he qualified in financial accounting in 1979.
Mathias Nsubuga worked with the defunct Uganda Airlines from 1979 to 1986 where he rose through the ranks to serve in senior positions responsible for Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. Winnie Kizza, the Leader of Opposition in parliament said that Nsubuga believed in the revival of Uganda Airlines.
In 1989, Nsubuga contested for election to represent Bukoto County in the Constituent Assembly (CA) but was defeated by former Finance Minister Gerald Ssendawula. He contested again in 2001 for the Bukoto South Constituency seat but was still defeated by Herbert Lwanga.
After this failure at the parliament seat twice, Nsubuga worked as a political assistant to former Kampala Mayor John Ssebaana Kizito. In 2006, Nsubuga contested for the Bukoto South Constituency seat and defeated Herbert Lwanga to become the area representative. He served in both the Eighth and Ninth parliaments. During his service in parliament, Nsubuga was the Democratic Party whip.
Nsubuga lost the parliamentary seat to National Resistance Movement (NRM) party's Muyanja Mbabaali in the February elections.
The Late Mathias Nsubuga is survived by a widow - Jennifer Nsubuga with whom they have eight children. His daughter Marion Nankya described her father as a friend and confidant. His wife Jennifer Nsubuga said her late husband was loving and supportive.