Makerere University has resolved to preserve the room used by the late Tanzanian founding president, Julius Nyerere in Complex Hall.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barnabas Nawangwe says that the room will be renovated and set apart with some collections of materials used by Nyerere. “This room should be worked on and preserved as a historical site for our alumnus. We shall look for some of his collections and set up the room,” he said.
Currently used as an office at the Institute of Open Distance and Electronic Learning, the room bears Nyerere on the door in his honour. Professor Nawangwe revealed this during celebrations marking the would-be 100th Birthday for Nyerere held by the Julius Nyerere Leadership Center-JNLC.
Nyerere was born on April 13, 1922, and died on October 14, 1999, leaving a strong legacy behind him. Prof. Nawangwe noted that the celebrations were important because of the legacy that Nyerere left as a liberator for Africa.
He noted that Nyerere is outstanding among the greatest alumni of Makerere, adding that he is the first for whom a monument was made at the university, showing how significant his legacy was.
The university also established the Julius Nyerere Leadership Center at the former university bookshop near the senate, which is co-managed by Uganda Management Institute and trains young leaders in universities on Nyerere’s ideologies.
Some of these include unity in leadership, peace and democracy in addition to education values and research. During the celebrations graced by other dignitaries such as the Tanzanian High Commissioner in Uganda, the Vice-Chancellor for Bugema University and the Executive Director of JLNC among others, several speakers made recollections of Nyerere’s legacy.
Dr. Aziz Ponary Mlima, the High Commissioner for Tanzania who referred to Nyerere as a champion of education noted that the ideology of free education by the former president stirred national transformation. Mlima said that based on such a contribution, the establishment of a leadership centre at Makerere is significant to hand down similar leadership ideologies to the young in academia.
Bonny Muwanguzi, vice president for the students association of the East African Community noted that the fact that Nyerere was being celebrated in Uganda is a lesson of how far-reaching the impact of leadership should be felt.
The celebrations consisted of several activities such as planting a Muvule tree at the Leadership Center in honour of Nyerere and an exhibition of several kinds of literature about Nyerere.