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Jeema president, former Tanzanian president discuss African unity

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The Justice Forum Party President Asuman Basalirwa and former Tanzanian leader Ali Hassan Mwinyi have stressed “the need to have a collective vision for a united Africa,” according to a statement issued early this week by the political organization.

The two leaders met and exchanged ideas from May 30 to June 1 at the Nairobi-based East African University as they witnessed the institution’s first graduation ceremony.

The ceremony also saw Mr. Mwinyi formally installed as the first University Chancellor and awarded an honorary doctorate in business management. 

As president of Tanzanian from 1985 to 1995, Mwinyi transformed east Africa’s largest country from a painful economic stagnancy inflicted by his predecessor’s socialist dogma to a liberalized and prosperous economy.

“He also took off time to offer some guidance on leadership skills and the need to have a collective vision for a united Africa, and I told him that the party I lead aspires to precisely achieve that,” said Mr. Basalirwa, who read the biography that led to Mwinyi’s award of the PhD.

Ugandan education minister Jessica Alupo said the award was long overdue. “There is no doubt in my mind that, Dr Ali Hassan Mwinyi indeed deserves the recognition and accolade he has received here today, bearing in mind his visionary leadership (during his tenure in office as President of Tanzania) his contribution towards re-establishing the East African Community, and his scholarly works,” said Ms Alupo.

Mwinyi invited Basalirwa to pay a courtesy call on him in Tanzania, a request the Ugandan politician said he would honour in August. It is understood that when they meet the friends will discuss further matters of regional and continental cooperation, which the Jeema Party espouses as a core value.  

The founder and chairman of the university Badru Kateregga said the decision to have Mwinyi as Chancellor sought to enhance cohesion in the East African Community.

Prof. Kateregga is also the proprietor of Kampala University in the Ugandan capital.

Mwinyi said he accepted the honour accorded to him with humility, according to the Tanzania Daily News, which quoted him as saying, “By its decision the university has allowed me to be listed among the great people such as his Excellency Nelson Mandela, among many others, whom I have always considered more deserving than myself.”

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