Hundreds of mourners turned up to pay their last respects to Alex Kayanja Ssekandi, son to Vice President Emeritus Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi. Alex, (37) died in Lubaga Hospital as a result of multiple organ failure. His family says the late liked booze, the reason they want government to support rehabilitation centers and also create awareness about alcohol abuse.
The children who read both Ssekandi and his wife Margaret’s speeches, described their sibling as a brilliant, calm man, gifted with people skills, wise beyond his age but who unfortunately died of alcoholism.
“Alex was battling an illness that many of us suffer from. We need to create an awareness. That addiction has taken him to his grave. Do not create stigma, let’s not hide it. If you drink alcohol everyday, you are abusing alcohol”, they said as they requested Government to create and support rehabilitation centres.
“Alcoholism is not a lifestyle, it is a disease” said Fiona Ssekandi, one of his siblings.
President Museveni was ably represented by his ever calm Vice President Maj. Jessica Alupo.
In his remarks, the President said he had received the news with sadness. “I wish to extend, on behalf of my family, the Government, the NRM Party and the entire nation, heartfelt condolences and sympathies, to H.E Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi and the entire family, upon the loss of a dear son. My family and I, stand with you, in prayer, during this trying moment. May the Almighty God grant you the fortitude and courage, to go through this moment of grief and loss”, the President said.
The head of state went on,
“I pray that you find solace and comfort in the Christian affirmation, which says that death is not the end, for believers.”
The President quoted from the Bible, saying those who believe in the Lord are heirs and heiresses of His eternal Kingdom, in Heaven. “In the book of 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4, verses 13-14, it is written:
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” (New King James Version) of eternal life is the anchor of our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; we are destined for eternity”
H.E Ssekandi who was visibly shaken said in Kayanja, he had lost “an advisor, a best friend, the only son.”
His mother-Margaret Ssekandi said the birth of Alex had lightened up their family.
“He was a source of joy and laughter”, she said.
Prior to the funeral, there was was mass led by Dominic Sengooba, the Vicar General of Masaka Diocese.
The funeral was attended by several dignitaries including representatives from central Buganda, former and current political leaders and several other guests.
President Museveni contributed UGX10m towards funeral expenses.