The Major who hoisted Uganda’s Flag on Independence dies at 89

Major (Rtd) Kanuti Akorimo

Major (Rtd) Kanuti Akorimo, who lowered the Union jack and raised the Uganda National flag on their Independence day, October 9, 1962  from Britain dies from pneumonia occasioned by a stroke on April, 23. He died at Atutur Hospital in Kumi District at the age of 89.

Major Kanuti Akorimo (right), raised the flag for the first time

Report from the family doctor, Dr. Isaac Omare shows that Major Kanuti had been suffering from illness over a long time which put him in regular visit to the hospital until late last year when he developed a stroke. While responding to a telephone interview from Daily Monitor, these were the doctor’s words: 

“Mr. Akorimo Kanuti had been sick for a long time and had also suffered stroke for almost nine months. “He further stated that the deceased had Aspiration Pneumonia which is a lung infection that results after inhaling food or liquid into the lungs. This makes Bacteria to grow in the lungs and cause infections when one is unable to cough up the aspirated materials. Dr. Omare also mentioned that it was difficult to clean up Major Kanuti’s lungs through the cough because of the failure of one side of his body which was caused by stroke and also paralyzed his lungs”.

The doctor also said that before Major Kanuti passed out, they had already contacted the State House requesting for Akorimo to be transferred to the capital territory, Kampala for further medical treatment. He added, that the deceased had been receiving treatment directly from his home until Friday, 17 when his health condition deteriorated which made him to be admitted. After two days, Major Kanuti was placed on oxygen until Tuesday, 22nd  April when they alerted the State House that he could be transferred to Mulago hospital but he passed away the following day being Wednesday 23.

The chairperson of Kumi district, Christine Apolot stated that the State is expected to give Major Akorimo an appropriate sendoff and also have him honored in the Parliament since he contributed immensely during the country’s independence. She added that they have informed the State House through the Constituency MPs and are still waiting for their response before communicating to the deceased family on what government plans for him. Christine Apolot described that Maj. Kanuti’s death as a big blow to the district, Teso and the country. Also, that Kanuti who carries the national accolade has lived a peaceful life in Omatenga village situated in Kumi district and has not only been the pride of Teso but as a father to them and the nation at large.  

The chairperson stated further that the deceased was trained in a short service commission in Britain after completing a commercial course in Nairobi, Kenya. He later returned as a senior officer in the Army. Maj. Kanuti was once the former chairperson of Kumi Association of Ex-servicemen and also served the British government for more than 20 years and retired as a major in 1968 at the age of 37.  He also rejected the house President in 2014 which Musenvi promised him earlier in 2009 due to the fact he has limited time to live.

Report also shows that decades since the deceased retired from the Army, the husband of two women, a father of 16 and grandfather of 21 is yet to receive his reward. He stated that he left with a clean record and committed no crime while in service and therefore deserves a decent retirement.

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