M7: Nyerere Nationalism Drove Me To Tanzania University


site geneva; font-size: small;”>Museveni said a humble and religious politician yet passionate enemy of imperialism, Nyerere’ character and devotion were what compelled Uganda’s leader to take up a university course away from his motherland.

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“Because of his relentless contribution during the independence struggle, I chose not to take up a course at Makerere University and went to study at the University of Dar es Salaam,” said Museveni.

“I wanted to be near this great visionary, a grand political leader and pious man whose efforts led to the ultimate liberation of not only East African countries but also the southern region from Mozambique to Angola, from Zambia to Cape Town.”

Mwalimu Nyerere, who passed away in October 1999, has also been described internationally as the man behind the success of now ailing South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, thanks to his 1959 Anti-Apartheid Movement in Britain.

Museveni, however, noted that it was regrettable today that after all this devotion and painstaking contribution of Nyerere and other African liberators, the continent up to today is not yet immune of neocolonial forces.

The President was on Saturday delivering a speech about the Life of fallen Mwalimu Nyerere as Makerere University joined its sister universities of University of Nairobi and University of Dar Salaam to commemorate 50 years of the University of East Africa from which they were birthed in 1970.

Mwalimu Nyerere, also an alumnus of Makerere University in the 1940s, was the first and only Chancellor of the University of East Africa.

In his speech delivered by Tourism Minister Hon. Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, Museveni said Nyerere was a visionary, a great strategist and strong nationalist who treated tribalism with utmost contempt.

“It was perhaps the reason why he donned a Muslim cap when he never ascribed to Islam. He knew that tribalism and religion did not matter more that service delivery.”

At the function, Museveni launched Mwalimu’s book entitled “Women’s Freedoms: Women are Eagles not Chickens” which was translated from Swahili to English by Makerere’s Linguistics Professor Ruth Mukama.

He commended the book for its emphasis on empowering women societal transformation adding that this was in line with NRM’s dream of affirmative action which has seen a number of women elevated at various government levels from ministries to local government top positions.

A Mwalimu Nyerere sculpture was erected by Makerere to immortalize him in honor of his contribution to both scholarly and independence struggle in the region.

Makerere’s former guild president of the 1960’s Mathew Rukikaire praised Nyerere as the core brain of the East African regional integration, a campaign he started during his school days.

“Mwalimu was even determined to delay independence of his own country Tanganyika just to ensure the other east African countries obtained their independence simultaneously,” he said.

He noted that although Nyerere never lived to see the actual integration take place, his foundation was strong enough and with the leadership of president Museveni and other East African leaders, it would ultimately come to pass.


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