President Yoweri Museveni has described former president of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, as the greatest African to live.
The president made these remarks during the annual Julius Kambarage Nyerere Day commemorative Mass at Namugongo Catholic Martyrs’ Shrine on Saturday June 1, 2019.
“A group of scholars from Tanzania have approached me to write a chapter for a biography they are compiling on Mwalimu Nyerere. I will detail my reasons on why I think he’s the greatest African to live in that write-up,” Museveni said.
Adding that in the 4.5 million years of human existence, “no one else has made a bigger contribution to the African race and cause than Mwalimu Nyerere.”
He applauded Nyerere’s widow, Maria for keeping the legacy of her fallen husband alive and praised the more than 500 pilgrims from Tanzania for being committed to their faith.
Museveni said that whereas many Ugandans were very religious, they are still “pagans” economic-wise.
“If we have spiritually seen the light, then we must do the same economically. We cannnot see the spiritual light yet stay in economic darkness. We must push ourselves a little extra and improve our household incomes,” Museveni said.
Uganda’s Catholic church gazetted June 1, as a special day of prayer in remembrance of Julius Nyerere, a former head of state, whom Tanzanians equate to a Saint. The day has been celebrated in Uganda since 2009, following a request by the former Tanzanian president’s family, as part of the quest for his beatification and canonization.
This day precedes June 3 as millions of Christians make a pilgrimage to the Martyrs shrines in Namugongo to celebrate 22 Catholic and 23 Anglican Christian converts that were persecuted between January 31, 1885, and January 27, 1887, on orders of Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda for refusing to renounce their Faith.
Whereas Nyerere was a staunch Catholic, he was not one of the executed Martyrs.
Following his death in 1999, Tanzanian bishops in the Diocese of Musuma, opened a cause for his beatification.
He has already been recognized by Rome as a Servant of God, a term used on individuals being investigated by the Church for possible canonization as a saint.