NAKASEKE – Leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) party hailed President Yoweri Museveni for having hosted the anti-apartheid freedom fighters, the UMkhonto weSizwe (MK) when the neighbouring states were afraid of settling them.
The visiting diplomats led by the ANC’s Treasurer General, Dr. Gwen Ramokgopa were on Sunday in Nakaseke district at the Oliver Thambo Leadership School in Kaweweta, where the MK fighters trained, planned and launched attacks against the white racist regime in South Africa in 1989 to 1993 when it was defeated.
“We visited this site to cement the historical ties of both ANC and NRM and also pay tribute to the leader of Uganda, President Yoweri Museveni who we consider the father of our democracy. He was able to welcome MK fighters and gave them refuge when they had nowhere to go at a time when the frontline states were afraid of the apartheid regime,” Dr Ramokgopa said.
She added: “We really salute the leadership of President Museveni and also thank the people of Uganda and commit that together with the NRM, we will build on the progress we have made with our democracy until all our African children live in prosperity and better circumstances.”
Dr Ramokgopa said the Oliver Thambo School is a great pillar in grooming young nationalists, “Young people are inspired by the sacrifices that our forefathers made. The Centre of Excellence explains why we are here, how we got here, where we are going as well as acting decisively to make an impact in the lives of our ordinary citizens.”
The NRM National Treasurer and Uganda’s Former High Commissioner to South Africa, Amb. Barbara Nekesa Oudo while addressing the media said that the ANC and NRM do enjoy fraternal relations and strong historical ties that were bred out of sweat and blood.
“We are so pleased with the good relationship that Uganda has with the Republic of South Africa. We do realise that what President Museveni did to give sanctuary to the ANC fighting wing was aimed at building bridges for our African brothers and sisters for future collaborations for the betterment of our people,” Amb. Nekesa said.
The High Commissioner of the Republic of South Africa to Uganda, H.E Lulama Xingwana said that Uganda’s contribution to South Africa’s liberation struggles and pacifying the African continent is inspirational.
“We are greatly inspired and it makes us feel at home away from home. You showed resilience and braveness amidst threats,” Her Excellency the High Commissioner said.
Other distinguished leaders present during the tour include the Director of diaspora affairs of NRM, Maj. Awich Pollar and Commandant of the Oliver Thambo Leadership School and Pan-African Centre for Excellence, Col. Justus Rukundo.