KAMPALA – Thousands defy Covid-19 directives to attend burial of man who hoisted Uganda Flag at Independence
More than 1,500 people on Friday, April 24, descended on Omatenga Village in Kumi District to attend the burial of Maj (Rtd) Kanuti Akorimo.
Maj Akorimo, who hoisted the National Flag on Independence day, 1962 died on Wednesday at Atutur Hospital due to aspiration pneumonia, caused by stroke. He has been living a quiet life in Kumi after retiring from the army in August 1968.
Last month, President Museveni limited burials to family members and neighbours to avoid possible spread of the virus.
But this could not deter mourners from attending the burial.
At midday, when Helen Christine Amongin Aporu, the Chief Mourner and former Woman MP for Kumi district arrived, all the seats had been occupied by mourners. There was also a thin presence of security personnel.
As the biography of the late Akorimo was being read, the home was filled by mourners, prompting the Resident District Commissioner, Hussein Kato Matanda rush the program.
He says that controlling the mourners was quite difficult since Maj. Akorimo was a national figure. He, however, notes that much as mourners turned up in large numbers, they observed social distancing and hand washing services.
His third and only surviving wife, Ms Florence Agwang 62, told mourners that her husband, Akorimo died a destitute.
“In most cases, I had to sell charcoal, cassava to meet the medication of my late husband,” Ms Agwang, a mother of 6 children narrated.
Ms Agwang said, the family is cash strapped, and there is no food to partake of, all the little harvest has been used up in treating Akorimo in his death bed.
Education wise, she said, most of the children dropped out of primary school because of financial troubles, save for the children for the first 2 wives who died.