KAMPALA – Construction works for an innovation institute and a museum in memory of the Founding Father of Uganda’s Independence struggle Ignatius Kangave Musaazi will commence in 2024, his foundation has announced.
Speaking at the Memorial Lecture held at the National Theatre in Kampala on Wednesday afternoon, Ambassador Elizabeth Musaazi, the daughter of Ignatius Musaazi and the chairperson of the IK Musaazi Foundation said the innovation institute works will commence with a ground-breaking phase in 2024.
She revealed that the institute which will also house a museum will be built in Kasangombe sub-county, Nakaseke district.
It will help to foster leadership and mindset change, reflect the philosophy of cooperatives, undertake leather tanning, serve as an innovation think tank and credit Union for workers and cooperators as well as promote Commercial farming among communities,” the ambassador said.
Musaazi, one of the only two national heroes buried at Kololo Independence Grounds alongside former President Kironde Lule, is remembered as the founder of the first political party in Uganda; the Uganda National Congress. He is also remembered by many as the founding father of the cooperative movement and trade unions.
Former ambassador Kintu Nyago, who presided over the public lecture, commended the family for championing the cause of the IK Musaazi Foundation.
“You find that many people make contributions and they’re forgotten especially in Africa where we depend a lot on oral history, so if people die, they die with the history and there’s no structures to support,” he said.
Ambassador Nnyago said Musaazi was an exemplary who took everything before him seriously.
“Had he been in Uganda today, he would work for the participation of the youth in the politics of their country. When he engaged in politics, he was a very young person, and many of the people he worked with at Makerere and Buddo were also young,” he said.
He said Musaazi never viewed politics as a dirty game as some people claim it is rather, [but rather] he viewed politics as the science of managing society.
According to Nyago, I.K Musaazi championed the formation of the Uganda African Framers’ Union, the first political party and the first Cooperative Society Union in Uganda.
Prof. Fred Guweddeko, the Director Fellow Makerere University School of Social Research provided the Key Note address of the Public Lecture Held under the theme; “Keeping the I.K Musaazi alive, Bringing the youth, women, the rural and vulnerable on the board with I.K Musaazi idea and actions”.
Musaazi, who passed away in 1990 is one of only two national heroes buried at the Kololo national heroes’ cemetery and is widely acknowledged as the founding father of Uganda’s Independence Movement.
He is among other things credited with founding Uganda’s first national political party – the Uganda National Congress (UNC) from which sprung the present-day Uganda People’s Congress in 1961, and the first trade union – Uganda Motor Drivers Association, which later metamorphosed into the the Uganda Amalgamated Transport and General Workers Union. The two are credited for presenting the first organized challenge to the colonial administration.
In 2007, the Musaazi family with support from Government set up the 1. K Musaazi Foundation to help immortalize Musaazi’s memory, consequently starting the I.K.Musaazi memorial lecturers that have since 2016 become an annual calendar event.
Who is Ignatius Kangave Musazi?
Born on 8 August 1905 to a Gombolola chief in Timuna village near Wobulenzi, off present-day Kampala-Gulu highway, Musazi was the eldest of nine brothers and thirteen sisters.
He attended Mengo Senior School and King’s College Budo for his secondary education, before traveling to England for further studies.
Despite his affluent upbringing and a desire to become a priest that saw him spend several years in a theology college, Musazi changed his mind for political activism, after learning from his West African colleagues that liberation for the African peasant could only be achieved on a political platform, and not in the pulpit.
He went on to organize Ugandan peasants and elites through cooperatives and trade unions, founding the Uganda National Congress (UNC) – the first truly Ugandan nationwide political party in 1952. He died on October 20, 1990