KUMI – The man who hoisted the Uganda Flag on October 9, 1962 when the country got her independence from Britain has died.
According to Dr. Isaac Omara, the medical superintendent of Atutur hospital, Maj. Akorimo, 89, succumbed to pneumonia at around 7.30am on Wednesday.
Dr. Isaac Omara added that they have been treating Major Akorimo and he goes home. But it is on Friday when his condition worsened, and they admitted him not until two days later when he was put on oxygen. He said adding: “By Tuesday we had alerted State House. He was to be transferred to Mulago, but the unthinkable thing happened.”
Abdul Aziz Ongodia, the LC III Chairperson Kumi district said, Maj. Akorimo was taken to the hospital on Thursday last week after he failed to eat for three days.
Ongodia said the deceased developed wounds in the throat and mouth that made it hard for him to swallow any food.
Maj. Akorimo, a man who carries accolade of national hero has been living a quiet life in Omatenga village in Kumi district. He attended a commercial course in Nairobi, Kenya and later trained in a short service commission in Britain where he returned as a senior officer in the army.
While many drummed, sang and ululated as Uganda’s flag was hoisted for the first time on October 9, 1962, one young man stood still, probably shaking in his boots with a mixture of fear and pride. Proud, that he was the one performing this historic role and fear, because it was a huge task for him. “I just couldn’t believe it,” he recounts.
‘Maj. Kanuti, you will bring down the colonial flag and hoist the Uganda flag,’ Obote told me. I felt a huge responsibility at that moment, I was tensed,” he recalls.
Maj. Akorimo has also served as the chairperson of Kumi Association of Ex-servicemen. Akorimo served the British government for more than 20 years and retired as a major in 1968 at the age of 37.
In 2014, Akorimo rejected a house President Museveni promised him in 2009 on grounds that he didn’t have much time left to live.