SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma yesterday officially opened the Oliver Tambo Leadership School at Kaweweta in Nakaseke District.
He and President Yoweri Museveni also laid wreaths on the graves of 14 African National Congress (ANC) freedom fighters who died in Uganda in 1990 and 1991. A three gun salute was fired in honour of the young fighters. The fighters, who died of natural causes, were among the 3,000 ANC fighters camped at Kaweweta.
The school, whose construction was funded by both the Ugandan and South African governments, will be a regional leadership and ideological training institute. It has been training UPDF, Police and Prisons officers.
Earlier, it had trained different African revolutionary armies, including the ANCâ€™s military Umkhotho we Sizwe, (Spear of the Nation) and Ugandaâ€™s National Resistance Army.
South Africa contributed US$3m (about sh6b)while Uganda gave US$1.5m (about sh3b) for the construction. A total of 13 buildings, water supply, solar and generator power supply system, a hospital, staff houses, an administration block and a hall with a capacity of 600 people were built.
The South African government also funded construction of two classroom blocks of Kaweweta Primary School for the children of soldiers and those from the surrounding villages.
Zuma thanked Uganda for hosting and training ANC fighters, saying at that time, few countries wanted to be associated with them. He said when Museveni allowed them into Uganda in 1988, the UN had passed a resolution, which ensured they were thrown out of Angola, where they had been training.
The first batch of 152 soldiers arrived in Kaweweta in 1989 and by 1994, the number was 3,000, making it the biggest concentration of Umkhotho we Sizwe soldiers in a single camp. He paid tribute to Maj. Gen. Fred Rwigyema (RIP), who he said, went beyond the call of duty to assist the South African soldiers.
President Museveni said he was happy with the struggle for freedom by the two countries. He said he and his fellow freedom fighters refuse to see tribes and sub-groups of Africa, but see Africans.
â€œThat is our ideology and that is the ideology of ANC,â€ Museveni said, adding that the ANC has had a great role in stabilising the security situation in the Great Lakes Region.
He enumerated the initiatives to broker peace in the DR Congo and Burundi by ANC leaders, including Zuma.
Museveni added that while Africans fought for freedom from colonialists, the continentâ€™s problems are in many cases self-imposed. He said instead of working together to ensure development, wealth creation, transformation and integration, some Africans work for balkanisation.
The President said the Kaweweta school would enhance African capacities to acquire real independence. The school, according to Museveni, is a symbol of African freedom struggle.
Zuma opens Tambo leadership school