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Museveni’s appeal for Nyerere’s sainthood hits 4th year

President Museveni with Mama Maria Nyerere who arrived in the country with other Tanzania Pilgrims for the Julius Nyerere Day that is observed on 1st June and for the annual Uganda Martyrs’ Day celebrations to be held on Sunday 3rd June 2018. PPU photo.

It all started in 2014 when a Mass was organized at the Uganda Martyrs’ Shrine in Namugongo, to remember the former President of Tanzania for his outstanding contribution to his country and Africa

During that mass, Museveni backed by a number of Clergy called believers to pray for Mwalimu Julius Nyerere’s beatification and canonization as Saint.

He made the same appeal from that year on.

In 2017, President Museveni  said just like the Uganda martyrs, Nyerere had “courage while fighting for the liberation of other African countries from colonial rule in spite of being weak, I will be happy if he is canonised,” he said then

“As a witness to Mwalimu’s good works on earth, the fearlessness he had when fighting for justice,” he said.

This Friday, President Museveni praised the contribution of the late Tanzanian leader, again, and said that Uganda will forever remember his contribution in the liberation of the country.

He urged congregants who turned up for the Julius Kambarage Nyerere day celebrations at Namugongo that the fallen statesman was a devoted catholic, the reason he should be a saint.

The annual event, which was graced by Julius Nyerere’s widow is held on every first day of June and comes before the Uganda Martrys’ Day that is commemorated on the 3rd of June annually.

President Museveni described the late Mwalimu Nyerere as a Pan-Africanist.

“Being a devoted person in any religion should not mean being sectarian. If Mwalimu had done that, he would not have managed Tanzania,” he observed.

Mr. Museveni told the congregation that Mama Maria is today continuing with the work started by the late Mwalimu Nyerere of unifying people through politics, by now promoting unity through the Church.

Nyerere became a Christian at the age of 21, has translated Shakespeare into Swahili and was President of Tanzania from 1962 to 1985.

He became a candidate for the sainthood back in 2005 when his cause for beatification was opened.  On May 13, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI declared Nyerere a servant of God. This was the first step of canonising him into sainthood.

In his submission on Friday, The Archbishop of Kampala Archdiocese, the Most Rev. Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga said that Nyerere was a great leader in Africa and a servant of God who deserves our remembrance and prayers for his beatification. He also thanked Mama Maria and the pilgrims from Tanzania for loving Uganda and the Uganda Martyrs by visiting the country.

The representative of Mama Maria Nyerere’s family, Rev. Sr. Eledina Micheal, described President Museveni as a true father of the people of Uganda and Tanzania because of his large heart.

Rev. Fr. Antonius Maria Mamsery, in a homily, said Mwalimu Nyerere served all countries in Africa selflessly especially in their liberation struggles. He added that Mwalimu Nyerere was a devoted Catholic who relied on divine intervention when faced with big challenges.

‘Nyerere never fought for only political freedom but also for the liberation of Christians and everyone in Tanzania and Africa in general,” he said.

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