Uganda: Wife of National Anthem Composer Dies Aged 82

Maria Theresa Kakoma, the widow to Prof George Wilberforce Kakoma, the composer of the Uganda national anthem has died.

Ms Kakoma, 82, died on Tuesday in South Africa where she had been taken for treatment. Her death was confirmed by Semu Kakoma, the grandson.

"At the moment I can confirm that she has died. It is a great loss to us. As a family we will share details of her death and burial arrangement at an opportune time" Semu said.

Ms Kakoma has been living in Kavumba, Wakiso district under the care of her children since the death of her husband on April 8, 2012. In July 2019, Ms Kakoma as the administrator of her husband's estate lost an appeal case which was filed in 2008 by Kakoma accusing the government of infringement of the copyright of his song, the national anthem.

However, Court of Appeal quashed a 2010 High court decision to award Kakoma Shs 50 million as royalties for composing the national anthem in 1962 as Uganda attained independence from Britain.

Kakoma had filed the suit against the government seeking for at least Shs 1 billion as damages for the alleged violation of his composition each time the anthem got sung.

Although Kakoma was paid Shs 2,000 in 1963 as a token of appreciation, the High court nevertheless granted him Shs 50 million (attracting 25% annual interest until when government settles the payment.

Unsatisfied, Kakoma ran to the Court of Appeal, demanding for at least a billion in compensation instead.

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