Writes BRIAN MUGENYI
” Politics rule the world but in the presence of possible odds people who love their country can change it;” goes Ssebamala’s fanantic literally quote.
He smiles with a glittering face as he takes a seat at one of his business repertoire spot Tendo Bridals in Kampala suburbs.
This is Richard Sebamala who has taken over the air waves ever since he took over the whelms of a representative to Bukoto Central Constituency seat which was a renowned slot for a fading Edward Ssekandi.
Born to Cyrus Ndawula and Betty Nanyonga residents of Gulama village, Buwunga Sub County in Masaka District Engineer Sebamala as he is renowned even in Hillary Kiyaga aka Dr Hilderman’s song entitled Engineer Ssebamala has ironically changed the face of the Bukoto Central Consitituency.
He has been the talk of the town since February in the past elections when he rose to stardom and started supporting youths, women and the needy children in Bukoto Central Constituency.
The rise of Ssebamala from the business community; Tender Bridals dealing in Wedding and first class clothings from Turkey into Ugandan politics Ssebamala has achieved his momentarily goals; empowering women, youth and robbing for the Consitituency.
The latter, would have kept his feet and wits away from politics and rather transfuse such energy and money in his businesses but chose to be an indifference from Ssekandi.
The ardent engineer as well as a politician has cemented a huge milestone in business and sports activist in the heated parliament led by speaker Anita Among.
The communual enterprising groups; and a yearly tourney in Ssebamala Cup under the watchful eye of Ssebamala Foundation have all been a subject of revelation and achievement for Hon. Ssebamala.
Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi born January 1943 to Mr. Alex Kiwanuka and Mrs. Virgo Kiwanuka of Bulegeya Township and also the 13th Vice President of the Republic of Uganda instinctively knows it far better that the mistakes committed during his sixteen years tenure met the point of correction by predecessor Ssebamala.
As he folds the fingers in a navy blue suit Sebamala, 42-years-old is quick like lightening to explain that growing up as a toddler he had political ambitions.
It all started way back at Bukalasa Seminary in 1993.
” Today I count two years in parliament a dream come true for me; family and my ardent supporter,” he says.
And when he completed studies at Dana College, Nebraska in the United States of America, he realised that natives in Bukoto Central Constituency were struggling to earn a living much as their representative in parliament Mr Ssekandi back then was just a few inches from President Museveni.
Before, Sebamala says, they had high hopes in Mr Ssekandi banding on his experience in judiciary, legislature and management but all their expectations died a cold natural death.
“I’ve loved politics since my childhood and of course giving back to those who cannot stand on their own. So, when I looked into my network in politics of which many are my friends like Kenya’s William Ruto and other in the East African Community, I had to give in my all and this is the right time for me to cooperate with other leaders” the smiling Sebamala, who has formed youths groups including Sebamala foundation that empowers them through sports, education and health and he has lived up to succeed said.
As for clarity; Sebamala remains a household name in the Catholic Church countrywide and many a times, camera shutters have been capturing the latter with Masaka’s Bishop Serverus Jjumba like newly wedded couple.
“I grew up in a catholic family where my father Mr. Ndawula was not that rich but he taught us how to work hard and of course considering God first in all the things we do,” he says.
Since Sebamala’s humble beginnings started way back from village where he also used to grow coffee and later sold it to earn pocket money at school, he also studied in schools; St Modesta Bisanje Secondary School, Blessed Sacrament Kimanya and St Benard Nkoni before switching to Buganda Road Primary School and Kanebukuliro where he finished his primary level.
In 1993, he joined Bukalasa Seminary for his O’ Level and later Namilyango College and Jinja College where he finished his Advanced Level before enrolling for a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering at Kyambogo University and graduated in 2005.
“Initially, the government had given me sponsorship to study Chemistry, phycology and Computer Science but after two months of studying I realized that my interest was in Civil Engineering instead,” adds Sebamala also the founder of Bukoto Microfinance and Sebamala Agricultural stores.
“As a student, I had to be more creative because my father was broke so I used to foot from Lunguja to Kyambogo and during my senior six vacation I used to act as a shopkeeper at my mother’s business,” he fanatically said.
By nature, Sebamala is a hands-on man much as he is always smart home and away. He loves associating with suits.
Immediately after finishing his studies, he started to work as a taxi conductor along Masaka- Kyotera road before he joined the contractors at Fufa as an industrial trainee.
“I remember I asked Engineer Sam Kibego and Omulangira JJuuko to get me a job there. Today he is seeing me in parliament. I wanted to be a foreman back then but I was rather considered as a helper (Porter) to them,” he recollects as his phone momentarily rings.
It is the Minister of Justice and Insitititional affairs Norbert Mao calling.
However, after exchusing him self momentarily Sebamala says work all together in parliament is still under a learning curve and making friends with fellow Democratic Party Members have all given him a moment of redemption.
Every appearance in parliament to him is like answering a political science course unit.
”When I learnt how to build houses and my maiden project was a house of Mr. Andrew Zzimwe which I built in Sseeta under the supervision of Engineer Sulaiman I learnt alot from believing in myself be hopeful for achievements alway,” he additionally said.
“At Fufa, I used to earn shs: 6000 per week but while constructing Mr Zzimwe’s house I used to earn shs: 70,000 a week, today I earn in millions but all that has been a hard work and aspiring to work for the community first.”
Sebamala’s hard work and flexibility later earned him full time employment and they were able to construct Kalamoja Region roads (State House Kangule) under the supervision of Engineer Sam Ssamakadde under Zzimwe Enterprise Construction Company.
“I also constructed Kyambogo lower estate while in my third year at Kyambogo University and I could loan out some money to my fellow students because by then I was juggling working and studies at ago and funds were there,” he added.
Under Zzimwe Construction Company, they were able to construct Senior Staff College Kimaka and he is also the brain behind the construction of Masaka-Nyendo road.
“I designed it and has never been refurbished since then. It is about 4km and whenever I am heading in my constituency I look at it and gain more confidence in work” he explained.
Towards the end of 2006, Sebamala says his boss Zzimwe had become weak and this alone forced him to start up his own company DDKI Services with Engineer Achilles Kiwanuka based on Byansi building in Masaka Town.
“I started to bid for construction jobs from the government and we constructed roads in Ssembabule, Matete and Masaka and later I joined Chogm programs in 2007,” he says.
With the help of Engineer Ssebyaala of Lub Makrs Construction Company, Sebamala was able to secure a contract for his company and they started constructing works.
“We designed several roads, and I also renovated the Ministry of Works offices in Soroti,” he says.
In 2007, he joined Multiplex Limited as a contract engineer where he helped the company to even solve the managerial problems.
During his stint at Multiplex, they were able to renovate 28 health centers in Kiruhula, Mbarara, Bushenyi , Isingiro, Ntugamo and Kabale before he left the company due to little payments.
“They used to repect the constructors more highly than the Engineers which demotivated me,” he shares.
In 2012, Sebamala served as the Iganga Municipal Engineer under the leadership of Mayor Siraje Katono before resigning in 2015 to enroll for his Master’s Degree in leadership at Uganda Management Institute.
” When I glance through the constituency today I see we’re progressing. The population is slightly growing and the level of productivity is growing among farmers and youths most especially in Agriculture, retail and small scale business and sport;” he pointed.