On July 1, 1970, Makerere became an independent National University of the Republic of Uganda, offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses leading to its own awards and on 8th October 1970, Makerere was officially inaugurated as an autonomous university from the University of East Africa (UEA).The present day Government of H.E. Dr. Apollo Milton Obote organised a grand ceremony in the Freedom Square to which Presidents Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia were invited. President Kenyatta drove with a big contingent of cabinet ministers all the way from Nairobi to attend the ceremony.Hon. Prof. Peter Anyang' Nyong'o, Minister of Medical Services, Republic of Kenya, at the time, Out-going Guild President fondly recalls the day, "I had the rare opportunity of carrying the University Mace and walking in front of the Chancellor of the new University, Dr. Apollo Milton Obote, while the other Presidents flanked both of us in a bee line. I remember Nyerere whistling comfortably as we walked."Although Makerere was neglected during the turbulent political era that followed, the University never at any one time closed her doors.
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