Museveni Turns Down Offer of Centre in His Name

Written by: 
Tumukunde Brayan Akabwai


President Yoweri Museveni has blocked a suggestion of establishing Museveni Excellence Centre proposed by the political science Department at Makerere University.

While at Makerere to launch the Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre on Saturday, President Museveni said the idea was unnecessary. He defended his decision saying that beginning an academic centre in his name yet there is one for Mzee Nyerere would be duplicating strategies and ideology of Mwalimu, as the former Tanzanian leader was commonly known.

"I do not have anything new to add to the Africa struggle other than developing and following the ones for my mentor (Nyerere), I belong to his heritage and resistance," Museveni said.

Museveni argued that with the inspiration of Mzee Nyerere, he fought for the Independence of Mozambique, Amin's dictatorship and struggled for the reformation of East African Community.

The proposal for a Museveni Centre had been suggested by Professor Edward Kirumira, principal College of Humanities and Social Sciences and a team of academicians from department of political science to honour Museveni for his achievements.

President Museveni commended Nyerere for his contributions which included political integration, Democracy, Independence, economic integration and guarding of African heritage.

Prof. Kirumira, the Nyerere Leadership Centre Chairman, said that the Centre will be very important in training, nurturing, and addressing the ideas of both National and continental Development to the students.

President Museveni pledged 2.3 billion out of the 4.5 billion Shillings required to construct the centre, currently being housed in the Wooden House along Pool Road inside Makerere University.

Makerere Vice chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, in his speech said that the leadership Centre will enhance Research and make Makerere a premier University in Africa.

He thanked the president for the UPDF Engineering Brigade that constructed what he called the First Class Indoor Stadium in a short time of only 40 days, while Makerere prepared for the World University Netball championship.

Other dignitaries present included Namirembe Bitamazire, former minister of Education and Chancellor Uganda Management Institute, Mary Mugyenyi of the East African Legislative Assembly, High Commissioner of Tanzania to Uganda, High Commissioner of Algeria to Uganda among others.

The Julius Nyerere Leadership Centre will be run by Makerere University, Uganda Management Institute and the President's Office.

Born in April 1922, Julius Kambarage Nyerere qualified as a teacher from Makerere University before studying history and political economy at the University of Edinburgh. He would return home to embark on anti-colonial struggles, leading the then Tanganyika to independence in 1961. Promoting his ideals of African socialism, Nyerere supported many liberation movements around the African continent, including in Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia and Uganda.

He retired from the presidency of Tanzania in 1985 after 24 years in power. He died of leukemia in October 1999, aged 77.

There have been calls within the Catholic Church to have Nyerere canonized.