The government of Tanzania has revealed that it will continue pursuing Uganda to settle an outstanding debt of 8.8m dollars (approximately Shs17bn) in war reparations. It is part of the 18.4m dollars agreed by the two countries after the 1979 war.
This was revealed on Wednesday by the Tanzania’s Minister of Defense and National Service Mr Shamsi Vuai Nahodha who responding to a legislator who demanded to know why the Tanzania government was not interested in making Uganda pay the debt.
In 1978, Uganda armed forces under Idi Amin Dada invaded Tanzania and the ensuing battle with Tanzania’s then army led to the former’s capture of the Kagera salient which was declared part of Uganda by Amin.
The legislator John Komba wants Tanzania to block Uganda from using the Dar es Salaam until the debt is cleared.
The lawmaker said that Ugandan president Museveni had turned his back on Tanzania where he got University Education in addition to the country providing a base for his fighters when they waged a war against Amin.
The MP also accused Uganda of of working with Rwanda to sabotage Dar es Salaam port.
However, Defense Minister Shamsi reassured the lawmaker that though Uganda had defaulted in paying it’s dues, negotiations during the Benjamin Mkapa presidency forced Uganda to to resume paying in installments.
He however warned against forcing Uganda to pay the reparations saying it is not wise to demand a return for favors done to your brother after difference in opinion.
He added that then Tanzania president Julius Nyerere considered all Africans brothers and that is why he lent a helping hand to Ugandans when they wanted to free themselves from oppression and asked MPs to emulate Nelson Mandela’s forgiving spirit.
Adapted From Daily News