A somber mood engulfed Democratic Party leaders and members Sunday afternoon as mourners gathered to give deceased Kyotera District Woman MP, Robinah Nakasirye Ssentongo a befitting send off.
Ms Ssentongo, 59 succumbed to Covid-19 on Friday morning at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
She became the third MP to succumb to Covid-19 in just a space of three months after her counterparts; Rehema Watongola (Kamuli Municipality) and Faith Alupo (Pallisa Woman MP) died of the disease.
During the requiem mass held at Ms Ssentongo’s home in Lwankoni B Village, Kyotera District, sorrow was evidently written on the grieving faces of friends and supporters of the deceased.
At the same burial, Kyotera District DP chairperson, Tom Balojja unveiled Rose Fortunate Nantongo, 25, a lawyer by profession, to take on her late mother’s mantle before DP President Norbert Mao who was in attendance endorsed her during a brief ceremony witnessed by about 300.
Speaker after speaker applauded the deceased for her commitment towards serving community, especially when she was still working with Kitovu Mobile Aids Organisation in Masaka City
Masaka Diocesan Vicar General, Msgr Dominic Ssengoba who led the requiem mass, described Ms Ssentongo as a respectful, loving, amiable, gentle soul who worked hard to alleviate the suffering of others.
He said the deceased was God-fearing and loved her religion-Christianity.
“She [Ssentongo] has performed excellently as an MP but we very much remember her as someone who cared for those infected and affected by the HIV/Aids scourge. This was at a time when only the brave ones could step in to help and care for others,” he said.
He castigated the government for failing to stock health facilities with enough oxygen at a time when Covid-19 victims are in dire need of it .
“Our government should take this issue [of providing oxygen] as a matter of urgency because even at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital they are also complaining over the same,” he said
Mr Mao said the deceased was a strong pillar of DP who was not moved by the current political wave which saw many party stalwarts defecting to National Unity Platform led by presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi .
“Robinah has been a firm DP member and I am happy that she has died professing its philosophy unlike others who abandoned the party and moved with the current political wave ,” he said.
Before joining Parliament three years ago, she served as a nurse counselor at Kitovu Hospital in Masaka (1983-1984) and Lubaga Hospital (1984-1988) and later a coordinator Orphans and Family Support at Kitovu Mobile Aids Organisation (1990-1994). In 1995, Ms Ssentongo returned to Kitovu Mobile from Lubaga Hospital to lead an Aids Care Programme .In 2005 ,she was appointed chief executive officer of the same organisation.