President Yoweri Museveni has paid tribute to former Tanzanian President, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere for playing a leading role in the liberation of Africa.
The President made the remarks at Makerere University where he delivered an inaugural lecture and launched the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre.
The Government of Uganda has allocated Shs.2.3 billion out of the envisaged total of Shs.4.5 billion towards the construction of a new structure at the Campus. The timber structured building that was selected to work as a centre is one of the structures that were being utilized at the campus when the Tanzanian leader was hosted as a student.
“I belong to a heritage of resistance and it was led by Mwalimu Nyerere. You should study deeply what Mwalimu stood for and find out the new components that can be added on. You cannot talk about him without talking about Africa,” he said.
President Museveni noted that Mwalimu Nyerere played the leading role not only in the liberation of Tanzania but the whole of Africa. He said Mwalimu together with Sheikh Obed Karume scored 100% in the major efforts to ensure that Africa retains its independence and that former South African President, Nelson Mandela, was the second person who fought for the liberation of Africa.
Mr. Museveni told his listeners that the major aims that the renowned Tanzanian leader worked for included regaining our independence, achieving democracy and getting prosperity for the people. His other aims include ensuring strategic security in Africa and cultural integration.
The President stressed that there must be political integration before attaining strategic security saying ‘once strategic security is in place, Africa cannot be recolonized.’
He commended Mwalimu Nyerere for promoting Kiswahili language that has been a major tool in uniting the people. He observed that political integration in Africa can only take place among countries that have similarities and capability. He, therefore, praised Mwalimu Nyerere for his biggest contribution of building patriots.
The Executive Director of Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, Joseph Butiku, revealed that while Mr. Museveni was a student in Tanzania, the Ugandan leader worked for the freedom of his country Uganda, the region and Africa. He disclosed that President Museveni will be the Chairman of the Trustees of the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre.
Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, while praising Mwalimu Nyerere for being one of Africa’s freedom fighters, said plans were underway to make Makarere a research led institution. He saluted President Museveni for facilitating the multi purpose building that was built by UPDF in a record time of 40 days.
Prof. Edward Kirumira, who is Chairman of the Board of Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre, said the facility will be a centre for passing on knowledge especially to tomorrow’s leaders.
Makerere University Tanzania Students’ Association President, Stephen Helbert Gowelle revealed that Tanzanian students have maintained unity within the East African Community.
In a citation that was presented by Dr. Simba Sali, Mwalimu Nyerere was described as a leader who struggled not only for the independence ofd Tanzania but the whole of Africa. He said that he was one of the founders of the African Union adding that Nyerere led the struggle to liberate Uganda from the autocratic rule of Amin. He described him as an honest person who cherished integrity and was respectful.