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President Yoweri Museveni has praised the contribution of the late Tanzanian leader, Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, who not only united the people of Tanzania and worked for mankind, but also helped in the liberation of several African countries.

“The late Mwalimu Nyerere was a Pan-Africanist who loved God and mankind. He united the people of Tanzania of different religious backgrounds and helped liberate most African countries like Zimbabwe, Namibia, Angola, South Africa and Uganda,” said Museveni.

The President was the evenings chief  guest at a Mass organized at the Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine in Namugongo, for to remember the former President of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere for his outstanding contribution to his country and Africa but mainly to pray for his beatification and canonization as a Saint.

The annual event is held on every first day of June and comes before the Uganda Martyrs’ Day that is commemorated on the June 3 annually.

The service that was led by the Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, the Most Rev. Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, was attended by pilgrims from Tanzania, Kenya and other neighboring countries.

President Museveni told the congregation that he worked with the late Nyerere for a long time and indeed Mwalimu deserved to qualify as a Saint. He pledged to visit the new Pope at the Vatican to highly recommend the canonization of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.

Mr. Musevenit also observed that Mwalimu Nyerere did not only make a huge contribution to the liberation of African countries but also introduced universal education in Tanzania. He said that while people in some countries were engaged in sectarian conflicts, along religious and tribal leanings, Mwalimu Nyerere united the people of his country.

He further noted that, if Nyerere had not helped to get rid of Idi Amin’s regime, Uganda would not have participated in the restoration of peace in other countries like in Burundi, the Congo, Somalia, Rwanda and Kenya among many others. He, therefore, thanked Mama Maria Nyerere for choosing the first day of the month of June for praying in Uganda for the cause of the beatification of eventual canonization of her late husband.

The President’s request to invite leaders who used to work with the late Mwalimu to attend next year’s prayers at Namungongo Martyrs’ Shrine was accepted. The leaders include President Eduardo dos Santos of Angola and former President Sam Nujoma of Namibia and Alberto Chissano of Mozambique among others.

Mr. Museveni also commended Archbishop Kizito Lwanga for the time to pray for “our hero Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere. The President pledged to boost the capacity of Namugongo Martyrs’ Shrine through provision of accommodation facilities and the sanitation system.

Welcoming the President to Namugongo, Archbishop Kizito Lwanga thanked him for declaring June 3 annually, a national day for remembering the Uganda Martyrs whom he described as role models.

“Since you made this day a public holiday, we have seen fruits. Many pilgrims have been coming presenting many challenges like that of sanitation”, he reported.

The Archbishop praised the NRM government for the peace now prevailing in the country.

The Mass for the Julius Kambarage Nyerere Day was attended by Cabinet Ministers and MPs among many others.

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