President Museveni has hailed the late Ignatius Kangave Musaazi for his role in fighting for Uganda’s Independence, saying he was one of the foremost liberators of the African continent.
Museveni, who was speaking as the Chief Guest at the I.K Musaazi memorial lecture and fundraising dinner at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala last Friday, said Africa’s problems started with the arrival of explorers who prepared the ground for the colonialists to come and rule Africa, before applauding Musaazi for contributing towards fighting “these foreign forces.”
“That’s how Musaazi gains relevance, the colonialists found Africans disorganized. People were busy fighting one another and the Europeans captured them like grasshoppers. That’s where people like Musaazi come in, he came to fill a vacuum. Africa was in danger, the king’s had failed to protect us,” Museveni said.
Earlier, Dr. Ssimba Ssali from Makerere University’s Department of Political Science had given a keynote address at the memorial lecture, highlighting Musaazi’s contribution towards Uganda’s Independence. He described Musaazi as a patriot who was not interested in attaining power, but using it to transform people.
Dr. Ssimba traced Musaazi’s struggles to the early 1930s, noting that from the time he was a youth, he started organizing locals into Cooperatives, farmers’ and trade Unions, before going on to form Uganda’s first political party – the Uganda National Congress that became a leading front for agitation for the interests of the natives and Independence.
First Deputy Prime Minister Kirunda Kivenjinja, who referred to the late Musaazi as a “personal friend” said it’s important to keep his legacy alive, noting that it is a duty each country owes to its heroes.
“It required somebody of a high sense of duty like Musaazi to liberate Uganda at the time, with a force of peasants. Musaazi proved that even peasants can be organized for a greater cause, and his legacy needs to be preserved for posterity,” Kivejinja added.
Musaazi is one of Uganda’s nationally acknowledged heroes, and one of only two to be buried at the National Heroes corner at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds. He died on 20th October 1990 aged 85.
The memorial lecturer and fundraising dinner were jointly organized by the Uhuru Institute for Social Development, Vision Group, the Musaazi family, and the I.K.Musaazi memorial foundation, for which President Museveni is the patron.
The lecture was the 4th of its kind since it became an annual calendar event in 2016, while the fundraising dinner was organized as part of the activities geared towards raising funds for the construction of the IK Musaazi Innovations institute, envisioned to teach Patriotism, self-help and cooperatives philosophy among students.
Elizabeth Musaazi, one of Musaazi’s daughters who also serves as the chairperson of I.K. Musaazi Memorial Foundation told theCooperator that the Institute will be another way of remembering and honoring Musaazi: “We think it’s not enough to have him (Musaaz) buried at the heroes’ corner. He deserves more, and that’s partly why we’re building an institute in his name.”
Museveni commended the idea of setting up the institute and promised that he would contribute Shs.100 million towards the project. “Musaazi abandoned his comfort to fight for the Freedom of his country. It’s very good to acknowledge and salute such people who did good work in the past. That’s how you encourage others to do the same,” he said.