Makerere University has said it is designing a 1,500 postgraduate students’ hall of residence within its campus to be named after Tanzania’s founding president and alumnus, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere.
Speaking at the 22nd commemoration anniversary of Nyerere’s death yesterday, Prof Josephine Nabukenya, the deputy vice chancellor finance and administration, said the university council passed a resolution to pay homage to Tanzania’s founding president.
Prof Nabukenya said the hall will be located “near the western gate with construction set to begin next year.”
She added: “We intend to complete [construction] during our centenary celebrations. We are currently doing the designs.”
In 2018, Makerere University and Uganda Management Institute established the Julius Nyerere Centre of Excellence in Leadership at the behest of President Museveni.
The facility serves as a think tank for research on issues of leadership and ideological discourse in Africa. It also honours Nyerere for his visionary leadership that pursued peace, freedom, reconciliation, social cohesion, solidarity, resilience, and development.
Dr Aziz Ponary Mlima, the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Uganda and chief guest at the event, said Nyerere is instrumental in African politics because he was the brain behind pressure groups such as the Casablanca Bloc and the Monrovia group.
“Mwalimu was willing to delay the independence of Tanganyika to wait for Kenya and Uganda so as to form the East African Federation when Tanganyika became independent. He united Tanganyika and Zanzibar and established the first EAC which was very efficient,” he said.
Makerere University has a track record of naming its halls after political figures. Lumumba Hall is named after Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of the independent Democratic Republic of the Congo (then Republic of the Congo) whereas Nkrumah Hall honours Kwame Nkrumah, the former president of Ghana. Nsibirwa Hall was named after the former Buganda Katikkiro Martin Luther Nsibirwa who is said to have been assassinated over his unilateral decision to give Makerere University the land where it sits today.
Buganda Kingdom had opposed the idea
Mitchell Hall, named after the then Governor of the Uganda Protectorate, Sir Philip Mitchell, traces its origin to the very first hostels that were built in the 1920s to house students of the initial technical school from which the present day university was founded. These hostels were merged in the 1930s to form one hall.
Mary Stuart Hall — completed in 1953 — is named after Mary Stuart who worked tirelessly for the betterment of women education during her time in Uganda.