KAMPALA - President Yoweri Museveni has said the type of political organisation in Africa made African societies vulnerable to colonialism. Kingdoms, though strong, were fragmented and numerous, he added.He called on Africans to integrate to insure the future of the continent.
Museveni was the guest of honour at the commemoration of the 131st anniversary of the battle of Isandlwana in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa on Saturday.The famous battle was fought by Zulu warriors, led by King Chetshwayo, against British troops.The British lost over 1,000 soldiers in the battle which marked the end of the British quest to colonise South Africa.
The ceremony was marked with dancing, war songs and a simulation of the battle.
According to a State House press statement, the President, who was accompanied by the First Lady, Janet Museveni, was on a state visit to South Africa. He was invited by president Jacob Zuma.The Zulu king, Zwelithini Kabhekuzulu, said Museveni’s visit was significant to the people of Kwazulu-Natal.
Museveni described Shaka as an African hero who built a formidable army that resisted and defeated the British, using rudimentary weapons.He pointed out that this success depended on Shaka’s ability to unite his people and build a strong well-trained force.“King Shaka and Kabalega of Uganda are African heroes. They fought many battles and won some. However, disunity enabled the colonialists to dominate Africa,” Museveni said.He congratulated Zwelithini upon his 40th coronation anniversary, which coincided with the commemoration of the battle.Museveni invited Zwelithini to visit Uganda and interact with the cultural leaders to enrich the cultural institutions.
In his remarks, president Zuma said the agreement signed with Museveni was a sign that the Zulu fighters did not die in vain, adding that it was a symbol of triumph over colonialism.The KwaZulu-Natal Province premier, Zweli Mkihize, said there was a strong bond between South Africa and Uganda, citing the fact that the South African liberation struggle was supported by Ugandans.He congratulated Museveni upon restoring cultural institutions in Uganda, adding that they are a symbol of peace and unity.
Mkihize also hailed Museveni and the First Lady for spearheading the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.He urged Ugandans to explore the business opportunities in South Africa for the economic development of the people in the two nations.
"Amnesty can only be granted when one has been tried and convicted. If we brush aside violations without acknowledging we may encourage another chapter of chaos in the country."
-Martha Karua, Minister of Justice
"In 1980, Museveni went to the bush claiming that the elections were rigged. Now he is the same man congratulating Kibaki whose victory is being disputed. This is the saddest thing the President has done to East Africa."
-Prof. Ogega Latigo, Uganda's Leader of the Opposition in Parliament
"I do not know whether Kibaki won the election." -ECK chairman Samuel Kivuitu talking to The Standard after admitting that he read the election results under pressure from PNU