Nyerere is greatest African to live in 4.5 million years- Museveni

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Museveni and Mama Maria Nyerere at Namugongo

President Museveni on Saturday joined the Nyerere family led by Mama Maria, pilgrims from Tanzania and the rest of the world at Namugongo Martyrs Shrine to pray for Late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s beatification and canonisation.

In his assessment, Museveni said no one else has made a bigger contribution to the African race and cause than Mwalimu Nyerere, in the 4.5 million years of human existence.

A group of scholars from Tanzania have approached Museveni to write a chapter for a biography they are compiling on Mwalimu Nyerere.

“I will detail my reasons on why I think he is the greatest African to live in that write-up.”

“That said, I must thank the Tanzanians for not forgetting our parent. You do not just celebrate but hold him dear in your memories.”

Museveni also thanked the many Ugandans who join the Nyerere prayers annually at this shrine.

“I am grateful to Mama Maria. She is not just a religious leader but a political one.”

Each year, she leads Tanzanian pilgrims here, who then join their East African counterparts and those from the rest of the world.

“She is making our integration process easy.”

Museveni said he recently embarked on tours to urge Ugandans to abandon traditional farming and join the money economy through commercial agriculture.

Whereas many Ugandans are very religious, they are still “pagans” economic-wise.

“If we have spiritually seen the light, then we must do the same economically. We cannot see the spiritual light yet stay in economic darkness. We must push ourselves a little extra and improve our household incomes.”

Museveni said he was also happy that Tanzania qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations that takes place in Egypt this month.

“They qualified after beating Uganda which had already made it. It is good for our brotherliness to have all of us at the tournament.”

He added: “To the pilgrims, I say welcome to Namugongo and welcome to Uganda. Our country is very peaceful. Celebrate Martyrs Day responsibly and I wish you all the best.”

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