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REVEALED: FORMER ALLIES WHO SKIPPED SEMBULE TYCOON’S BURIAL IN BUIKWE PROMPTING GEN KATUMBA TO PROTEST

By Isaac Wandubile

During the Friday burial ceremony for Sembule tycoon Stephen Columbus Sembuya in Bwiyira village Nkokonjeru Sub County in Buikwe, Works & Transport Minister Gen Katumba Wamala was chief mourner and represented government besides delivering Gen Museveni’s Shs10m condolence message. And in his speech, Gen Katumba peripherally complained about successful Kampalans and business leaders who stayed away from the final sendoff yet Sembuya greatly mentored and made them who they are today.

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He said there was many big-name businessmen and industrialists whose story he was very much aware began from their association with the man who founded Sembule Steel Rolling Mills but he was shocked to realize that none of them had come to participate in their mentors’ final sendoff. “I don’t want to go into names but it’s something which I have found to be very strange that they couldn’t find time to be here,” said Katumba who vowed to continue working with the deceased’s children to ensure that his dream to revamp his formerly Nalukolongo-based business enterprise succeeds.

Whereas Katumba, being reserved as always, didn’t drop any names, Kabaka’s top official Apollo Makubuya, in his speech, inadvertently gave away some people. Makubuya, who became Company Secretary for Sembule Investment Bank at just 25 years of age, recalled how the deceased was good at cadre identification and proceeded to mentor many people including himself. He said, much as he represented the Buganda Kingdom which the deceased fanatically supported, he was here as a family member since the late Sembuya always perceived him to be his own son. He also revealed being a decker-mate to Francis Sembuya (one of the sons) at Namilyango College.

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Makubuya revealed that through the late Sembuya, he was able to meet many prominent Ugandans who have over the years grown into his close confidantes and useful friends. He named these to include Quality Chemicals Chairman Emmanuel Katongole, ex-Buganda Katikkiro Joseph Mulwanyamuli, Kaya Kavuma (now deceased), industrialist Deo Kayemba, Gordon Sentiba and Leo Kibirango. Makubuya demanded to know if any of them was around to stand up for recognition but none did (except Deo Kayemba) implying they weren’t at the burial ceremony.

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Whereas Mulwanyamuli was the CEO for Sembule’s bank, Katongole was another top executive in the same bank. Mulwanyamuli was at least at the Namirembe Cathedral where friends and relatives gathered to pray for Sembuya a day before his burial on Friday in Bwiyira village Nkokonjeru Sub County Buikwe district. Makubuya celebrated Sembuya for being a self-made entrepreneur who wished everybody well and prioritized the economic empowerment and elevation of fellow Africans and Ugandan natives. In his speech, area MP Lulume Bayiga also veiledly protested the absence of Gen YK Museveni whose NRA bush war (1981-1986) Bobi Wine and Ken Lukyamuzi (deceased’s close friend) claimed vastly benefited from Sembuya’s financial generosity.

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