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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Finally Museveni’s government has been caught pants down: Mps fights at Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda funeral as pathologist, Dr Sylvestre Onzivua who was hired by Parliament to do an independent forensic investigation, was arrested en route to South Africa


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Nebanda saga: Police accuse detained pathologist of ‘abuse of office’

Posted  Wednesday, December 19  2012 at  15:17

Police have changed tact and preferred the charge of ‘abuse of office’ against detained pathologist, Dr Sylvestre Onzivua, a day after arresting him for allegedly obtaining specimens off fallen Butaleja MP Cerinah Nebanda’s body “irregularly”.

MP Abdu Katuntu and defence counsel Renato Kania say detectives on Wednesday recorded a statement from Dr Onzivua, accusing him of abusing his office. 

The basis of the charge is not clear, and Mr Katuntu, speaking to the media at the headquarters of the Police Special Investigations Unit (SIU) headquarters in Kireka, Wakiso District, says they are baffled by the latest allegations against the forensic toxicologist.

“It is our sincere hope that the Director of Public Prosecutions is not used to sanction a seemingly trumped up charge of corruption against the expert contracted formally by Parliament [to do further toxicological examinations in South Africa],” says Mr Katuntu.

Parliamentary Commissioner Chris Baryomunsi, Mbarara Municipality’s Medard Bitekyerezo, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee chairman Kassiano Wadri, Workers Representative Sam Lyomoki, Obongi MP Hassan Fungaro are some of the MPs who have camped at the SIU Kireka headquarters until Dr Onzivua is either released or taken to court as being speculated. 

State Local Governmnet Minister Alex Onzima visited the consultant pathologist Wednesday afternoon.
Parliament contracted Dr Onzivua to carry out an independent inquiry to establish the real cause of the sudden death last Friday of Butaleja MP Cerinah Nebanda. As part of the process, he was assigned to take specimens from the deceased’s body for conclusive toxicological analysis in a South African laboratory.

Preliminary investigations showed the 24-year-old lawmaker died of multiple organ failure triggered by sudden onset of a yet-to-be-identified toxic chemical substance.

Security operatives intercepted the pathologist just as he boarded a Johannesburg-bound South African Airlines plane at Entebbe airport, accusing him, in a statement issued hours later, of smuggling the samples.

House stops MP’s burial as death cause is disputed

By Isaac Imaka & Sheila Naturinda

Posted  Wednesday, December 19  2012 at  02:00

In Summary
Controversy. Lawmakers demand the investigation on the cause of Nebanda’s death be redone, citing compromise. They also say the pathologist took samples of the MP’s body parts after a decision with police bosses.

Parliament in an unprecedented move yesterday stopped the burial of Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda until the cause of her death is explicitly made known to the MPs and relatives.

The MPs took the decision after learning that police had arrested the pathologist, Dr Sylvestre Onzivua, who Parliament and Ms Nabanda’s family had hired to take the deceased’s samples to South Africa for independent examination.

Dr Onzivua was blocked by security operatives at Entebbe Airport and confiscated the samples.

The MPs said police’s move compromised the investigations and want the process to be redone, but this time.

“We had agreed that in handling the death of our colleague, there should be a process which is not questionable so that the results which come are credible and the intention of having an independent analysis is also a tested principle,” Dr Chris Baryomunsi said.

Although the Deputy Speaker, Mr Jacob Oulanyah had ruled that Nebanda’s body be taken to the Mulago School of Medicine, Cerinah’s mother, who was wailing calling out Gen. Kayihura’s name that he killed her daughter objected, saying she no longer trusted government.
The body was taken back to their home in Entebbe

Contrary to the police explanation that the pathologist was smuggling Nebanda’s body parts illegally, Mr Baryomunsi told the House that the decision had been agreed on with the police bosses, government pathologists and the independent pathologist obtained the samples during the post-mortem at Mulago hospital in the presence of the government chemists.

“It is tragic for the country and it is a pity because the circumstances are becoming more suspicious?” Gen. Jim Muhwezi said after the House adjourned.
The MPs said they have to know the cause of death before she is buried because she always spoke for truth and called for transparency.
“I am ashamed to belong to this government because the leaders in it are murderers, they kill us,” MP Theodore Ssekikubo told the House.
The House will reconvene on Friday at 10am for the debate.

Chaos in Parliament as Nebanda’s tribute session is canceled

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:09
What was meant to be a parliamentary session to pay tribute to the fallen Cerinah Nebanda ended abruptly and in confusion, as questions lingered over what killed the Butaleja Woman MP.

Deputy speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah suspended the tribute session at the urging of enraged MPs, who believed they had reason to suspect that the police was trying to hide something. The suspension was caused by the arrest of the independent pathologist, Dr Sylvester Onzivua at Entebbe airport on Tuesday en route to South Africa.

Dr Onzivua, who was hired by Parliament to do an independent forensic investigation, was arrested en route to South Africa, where he was supposed to take some samples for further tests. The doctor’s arrest, MPs said, strengthened their argument that all was not well and that someone wanted to bury the truth.

The lingering question put to government yesterday was: why was the doctor arrested?
The junior minister for Internal Affairs, James Baba, attempted to calm tempers. “It was wrong if it was agreed” that he (doctor) should go to South Africa and then he is arrested. “But, I have another difficulty: police says that he was not supposed to smuggle body parts. What can I say? Help me out,” Baba told MPs.

Kinkiizi MP Chris Baryomunsi, a parliamentary commissioner and medical practitioner, who represented Parliament at the post-mortem examination, said that before Onzivua’s arrest, senior police officers, pathologists and MPs met on Monday to chart a way forward for the investigation in the office of the executive director of Mulago Hospital.

He said the police and MPs agreed to work together and that Police had sanctioned Onzivua’s trip to South Africa to conduct separate tests. The meeting also agreed that two parallel investigations be executed—one by Onzivua and the other by the government.

Subsequently, Onzivua was procured a ticket to South Africa and given $20,000 for the tests, and he was supposed to leave yesterday at 7 am aboard a South African Airways flight. But security personnel intercepted him and took the samples.

In the House, when minister James Baba asked for help, MPs suggested that the motion to pay tribute to Nebanda be halted and the House be suspended until the team of doctors from the family and parliament be reassembled to assess whether new body samples could be got—given the fact that the government samples and those they have confiscated from Onzivua can’t be trusted anymore.

“There should be a process which is not questionable regarding these investigations so that the results that come out are credible,” Baryomunsi said.

“We cannot authenticate the tests now that Dr Onzivua has been arrested, and we don’t know where the samples are. We have consulted as doctors who were part of this process and agreed that we cannot be party to these samples. Suspend the process,” he added.

At this moment, Baryomunsi also revealed that the president has telephoned him asking whether he was working with police. He said he and the president had agreed that the MPs should work with police; and the police had been involved in all the deliberations.

“But since they have decided to arrest Dr Onzivua, we cannot trust them anymore,” he said.

This forced Dokolo woman MP, Cecilia Ogwal, to call for the cancellation of the tribute session. Others, like Kyadondo East MP Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, argued that Parliament should instead order the release of Dr Onzivua and halt the burial of Nebanda until the body is re-examined and new samples taken.

But Vice President Edward Ssekandi stoked fires by saying that “the subject was irrelevant”. Even before he completed his statement, MPs construed that to mean that he was dismissing the suggestion that the body be re-examined in order to get the truth as “irrelevant”.

According to Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga), Ssekandi’s statement showed that there was “something terribly wrong with this government”.
“I am ashamed to belong to this government. Leaders are murderers, killers. They have killed this woman in cold blood,” Ssekikubo said.

This forced Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi to explain that it was not “too late to find the truth” even if the Onzivua samples had been confiscated. Mbabazi cited the case of the late Palestine leader, Yasser Arafat, whose body was recently exhumed so that they can establish the truth.

Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah agreed to suspend the House and suggested that the body be taken to Mulago so that doctors from parliament can reassemble with a team of experts including the arrested Onzivua to forge a way forward and report to parliament on Friday this week. Oulanyah also ordered that Nebanda’s body be taken to Mulago medical school.

But the mother demanded that her daughter’s body should be taken to her home in Entebbe, before she collapsed. By press time, The Observer understood that the mother was headed for home, as was the body of the fallen Cerinah Nebanda.

MPs fight at Nebanda funeral
Wednesday, 19 December 2012 00:01
The Sunday evening family church service for the late Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda began like any other – with mourners queuing and walking past the casket placed inside her parent’s sitting room to view the body.

The only sign of things to come was delivered by an order chasing all cameras and anything that looked like a journalist. Kampala Central MP Muhammad Nsereko is accused of having masterminded the move to chase away the media. Several MPs, who had thronged Nebanda’s home in Kitubulu, Entebbe, helped with the organisation, including physically erecting tents.

Nebanda’s mother sat in one of the white tents and kept saying, “They have killed my daughter” and that, “if [police boss] Kayihura dares come here, I will undress.” She added: “Is Kayihura a doctor? Why did he rush to Nsambya after my daughter had been pronounced dead?”

The root cause of this tense atmosphere were two headlines in the newspapers, and other media reports attributed to the police, which suggested that late Nebanda could have died of alcohol and drugs. Although Kayihura faced the prospect of being publicly humiliated, he quietly walked in and sat in the tent next to Nebanda’s mother and occasionally rested his head in the right palm.

Some men near the entrance, who included Nebanda’s cousin, Ronnie, could be seen throwing their hands in the air, protesting what appeared to be a suggestion as to how to handle the service by former EALA member, Lydia Wanyoto Mutende. Wanyoto had become the MC under unclear circumstances. Some mourners whispered that she had been assigned to shield the government from the mourners’ rage.

It didn’t go down well when it emerged that Wanyoto had told the family that a committee set up by Parliament was the only one permitted to clear any MP intending to speak at this family service. Eventually, what started as a quiet service exploded into life with the beginning of speeches.

First, the MC Wanyoto invited all ministers present, including Idah Nantaba, Barbara Nekesa, David Wakikona (state ministers for Lands, Karamoja and Trade, respectively) to introduce themselves but they ended up delivering short speeches. Next were MPs who preferred to be introduced as a group since they were many.

Then came Nebanda’s uncle, Mr Mukasa. He warned that the ceremony was a family service and they reserved the right to choose who speaks. This appeared to be a quick response to Wanyoto. In fact, Mukasa temporarily relieved Wanyoto of her duties which he took over himself.

He explained that for all the time they have been with Nebanda, she didn’t consume alcohol or abuse drugs. He demanded that the government orders New Vision to apologise to the family for making that claim. He called Nebanda’s cousin Ronnie to explain what he had seen inside the postmortem room.

Ronnie narrated how he had jumped into the Police ambulance that carried Nebanda’s body from Nsambya to Mulago.

“VIPs are usually kept at the Anatomy department at the Medical School; why did they first take Nebanda to the general mortuary?” he asked.

He revealed that after they locked up the body at the Anatomy department, he refused to leave.

“There was police but we also decided to spend a night there.”

Ronnie revealed that when the body was finally opened, the only stomach contents were some rice particles and beans.

“But you have heard them [police] say that she had taken chips and chicken. Because she was big they think she could only have eaten chips and chicken,” Ronnie said.

There was no drug or alcohol, he added. He claimed that one of the professors who had taken part in the post mortem operation described what killed Nebanda “as a new one we have not seen.”

Ronnie, who kept complaining against the press reports and demanding action from a quiet Kayihura, then invited Dr Chris Baryomunsi to explain what he had seen during the postmortem. Baryomunsi, the Kinkiizi East MP, and a parliamentary commissioner, explained that preliminary findings had ruled out any natural cause of death.

He explained that samples picked from Nebanda would be flown to South Africa by Parliament for further tests. However, the pathologist was arrested at Entebbe International airport on Tuesday with the samples.

It appears President Museveni had been monitoring the speeches at the service, even if he was not present. He immediately rang Baryomunsi after his speech. Those who sat near Baryomunsi said they heard him answer, “Yes, Your Excellency,” before vanishing to take the call.

Dr Baryomunsi was later overheard telling fellow commissioner Emmanuel Dombo that the President was grilling him over his speech, asking since when had he become part of the police to begin releasing postmortem reports. It was now the turn of Nebanda’s mother to speak. She didn’t strip before Kayihura as she had threatened but she poured out her heart.

“I have two wounds; the death of my daughter and the police fabrications that she died of alcohol and drugs,” she started.

“Kayihura, tell me something I have not known; have you been moving out with my daughter and buying her alcohol? Why didn’t you tell us?” As she spoke, she surged nearer Kayihura. And with the light of a video camera focusing at him, Kayihura looked scared but remained composed.

She then thanked mourners and defended the conduct of her daughter. Nebanda’s uncle then invited Kayihura to speak. The IGP, who was dressed in a black leather jacket, began by describing Nebanda’s uncle as his friend. He then said he could understand the tension.

“This reminds me of the death of Brig Noble Mayombo,” he said without elaborating.

If this was meant to soften the tension, it inflamed it as the mourners heckled him. Just midway through the IGP’s speech, Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze Bakireke shouted at him, labelling him a liar. This angered NRM MPs sitting next to Nambooze.

The MPs, who included George Stephen Ekuma (Bukedea), Evelyn Chelangat Tete (Bukwo Woman), and Saleh Kamba (Kibuku), shouted back at Nambooze. One MP even threatened to slap her, prompting Kyadondo East MP, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, to leap to her defence.

An angry Nambooze labelled one of the MPs stupid, further inflaming the situation. Busiro East MP, Medard Sseggona, jumped up and sat between Nambooze and the angry NRM MPs in order for peace to prevail. Emmanuel Dombo, who at one time acted as the MC, ran towards his colleagues and pleaded with them in vain as the shouting match threatened to degenerate into physical confrontation.

Dombo again picked the microphone from Kayihura and pleaded with the bickering politicians to at least honour their colleague, whose body had now been brought into one of the tents. That is when some sanity was restored. After his speech, Kayihura disappeared into the crowd.

Before that, he had received a call from President Museveni and after answering it, he told Ronnie, Nebanda’s cousin, that the President wanted to meet the two (he and IGP) the following morning. It was now approaching 10pm. Nebanda’s uncle announced that Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and Nambooze would be some of the speakers.

New minister of state for Lands, Nantaba, protested and was unfortunate to be overheard by Nebanda’s mother.

“Nantaba, all Nebanda’s friends will speak. If you are in hurry, you can pick your bags and leave, okay?” she told the minister.

Nantaba obliged and left, joined by a host of other NRM MPs, with one retorting: “We have left everything for Nambooze.”

Then it was Muhammad Nsereko, the Kampala Central MP’s turn. After his speech, in which he accused the state of murdering Nebanda, he announced a demonstration in case no report is produced by Tuesday. Nsereko then paraded MPs he said had the same steel as the late Nebanda.

These included Moses Kasibante, Wilfred Niwagaba, Medard Sseggona, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, Theodore Ssekikubo, Mariam Nalubega and Betty Nambooze. After his lengthy speech, he temporarily hijacked the role of MC, allowing each of the MPs he had introduced to speak.

The service was almost turned into a political rally or a Parliament session, as some MPs demanded an apology from the state. Towards midnight, some sobriety returned to the funeral.


Nebanda: police, MPs battle for control of investigation

Tuesday, 18 December 2012 23:45

Written by Edris Kiggundu

The police, the family and political friends of Cerinah Nebanda (read MPs) are resolutely trying to answer an important but tricky question: what killed the youthful Butaleja woman MP?

But the dogged fight over who should firmly run the investigation speaks about the level of suspicion between the police and President Museveni’s government on the one hand, and the MPs and Nebanda’s family on the other.

The arrest of the independent pathologist, Dr Sylvester Onzivua at Entebbe International airport on Tuesday deepened that fight and cast a dark cloud over the investigation.
Dr Onzivua, who was hired by Parliament to do an independent forensic investigation, was arrested en route to South Africa, where he was supposed to take some samples for further tests. Police Spokeswoman Judith Nabakooba accused Onzivua of having obtained the samples without the knowledge of the police, and of trying to ‘smuggle’ the samples out of the country without following the right procedure.

“On Monday, the 17th of December, 2012, police discovered that certain samples from the body of the deceased had been irregularly obtained by individuals not involved in the police investigation, and without knowledge of the police,” a police statement reads in part.
Dr Onzivua, the statement said, was in police custody, to assist in determining why he violated the laid-down procedures and regulations.

Dr Onzivua, who is a civil servant, is also accused of not seeking clearance to travel out of the country, “and neither had he obtained the authority required to export the samples out of the country.”

This rope-pulling between the police and MPs over the investigation appears to have compounded the mystery surrounding Nebanda’s death. On Sunday during a vigil at Nebanda’s home in Entebbe, Kale Kayihura, the Inspector General of Police, struggled to clarify earlier police reports that the deceased could have died of a drug overdose– as reported in the Sunday papers.

On Sunday, Kinkiizi East MP Dr Chris Baryomunsi, a parliamentary commissioner and medical practitioner, who represented Parliament at the postmortem examination, said the MP could not have died of drug abuse or natural causes like heart attack, blood pressure and blood clot.

On Monday, Kayihura issued a statement, warning people against making reckless utterances about Nebanda’s death.

“We wish to advise such people that there are laws that protect police investigations and we shall not hesitate to take action against anybody violating these laws,” the statement read in part.

Monday meeting

Before Onzivua’s arrest, senior police officers, pathologists and MPs met on Monday to chart a way forward for the investigation in the office of the executive director of Mulago hospital. According to our sources, the tense meeting which started at 6pm and ended at midnight was attended by Grace Akullo, the director of the Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Directorate (CIID), a one Ambrose, an aide to Kayihura, pathologists Prof Henry Wabinga and Onzivua.

It was also attended by MPs Dr Chris Baryomunsi and Dr Medard Bitekyerezo, among others. At the meeting, police accused the MPs of interfering with their work by conducting a parallel investigation into Nebanda’s death. Akullo wanted to know why they were not sharing their findings with police; wondering at one point what would happen if their findings are at variance.

Baryomunsi told Akullo that it had been agreed from the start that Parliament and police would work together for the sake of transparency. The legislator reportedly told Akullo that the public suspected foul play in Nebanda’s death and had little confidence in police doing a thorough job.

Baryomunsi said by coming on board, Parliament wanted to ensure that the cause of Nebanda’s death is fully known and not hidden from the public. Akullo then complained that Dr Onzivua, who had been hired by Parliament, had not sought permission from Mulago hospital before he could carry out the investigation.

It was agreed that Onzivua continues with his line of investigation on condition that he shares his findings with the police before releasing them to the public. Sources told us that prior to this meeting, President Museveni had called Kayihura asking him why he was allowing politicians to interfere with police work.

We have also been told that Museveni called Baryomunsi, on Sunday evening, demanding to know why he was releasing postmortem results. Visiting Nebanda’s home in Entebbe, Museveni assured mourners that the MP’s death would be investigated and results released.

He cautioned “politicians” not to interfere. But Museveni and the police’s insistence on controlling the investigation has raised further suspicion, with some wondering what the state is so afraid of. At one time, a police officer is reported to have asked the MPs what would happen if their parallel investigation threw up findings different from the police’s.

In life, Nebanda caused many a storm when she spoke; her death, too, has caused quite a storm. The MP will, however, be laid to rest on Friday at 2pm in Butaleja district.

Twists in finding what killed Nebanda


Posted  Wednesday, December 19  2012 at  02:00

In Summary
Speculations. With a privately-contracted pathologist being held in police custody on his way to South Africa to examine the fallen MP’s specimens, eyebrows have been raised, many wondering if the government actually has
something to hide.

A top government official reportedly telephoned police bosses to block consultant pathologist, Dr Sylvester Onzivua, from transporting specimens from Butaleja District Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda’s body for further tests in
a South African laboratory.

A highly-placed source said it had been suggested that if the pathologist did not co-operate and refused to surrender the samples, he could as well be charged in court with dealing in body parts.

Security officials intercepted the doctor shortly before he boarded a Johannesburg-bound South African Airlines plane, Flight 161, yesterday morning.

Dr Onzivua was being held at the headquarters of the Special Investigations Unit of Uganda Police in Kireka, Wakiso District. Sources said the expert
was due to be released last evening – and Parliament separately directed he be set free - but he was still in custody by the time we went to press.

The controversy surrounding the MP’s sudden death on Friday, in many ways reflects her own stubborn personality: She had a no-holds-barred, often abrasive style, openly criticising leaders of her ruling NRM party. She also
spoke out loudly against the looting of public resources.
And drama played out yesterday after Parliament, which had converged to pay tribute to her, instead adjourned prematurely to allow a re-start of investigations into the real cause of her death.
The autopsy findings

A preliminary postmortem done at Mulago hospital last Saturday indicated the 24-year-old politician died as a result of multiple organ failure, arising from a toxic chemical substance.

According to a parliamentary commissioner, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, who in the team of doctors that handled the autopsy, they found Nebanda’s lung consolidated (instead of spongy) and the pancreas inflamed. There were also
granules of rice in the abdomen and an alcohol-like substance in the abdomen.

Following the suspicious but inconclusive findings, police surgeons, a representative of the bereaved family, and MPs, who were present in the mortuary to witness the postmortem, agreed that further investigations be carried out.

Dr Baryomunsi told Parliament that one set of samples was given to the chief government chemist at the Government Analytical Laboratory in Wandegaya, and another handed to Dr Onzivua to be taken to South Africa for likely
conclusive tests.

There had been a brief disagreement in the mortuary just before the postmortem began. Police surgeon Moses Byaruhanga and the government pathologist at Mulago, Dr Sam Kalungi, reportedly wanted to lead the
exercise. But Dr Onzivua objected, arguing that under their code of practice, the most senior of the experts always takes lead.

On Saturday, that responsibility fell on the shoulders of Prof. Henry Wabinga, a senior consultant clinical pathologist in the Department of Human Pathology at Makerere University’s College of Human Sciences.

That sparked some animosity, and the account of what transpired was ominous until security operatives arrested Dr Onzivua yesterday.

Parliament’s call on him on Saturday to join the team carrying out Nebanda’s postmortem made him miss the church service for the wedding at Mbuya Catholic Church of Ministry of Finance official Francis Azabo. Instead, he went to the reception at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

It was, however, a 7am telephone call that Dr Onzivua received on Sunday that had the family on its tenterhooks. The call, it transpired, was from police, regarding the specimens in his possession. He was threatened with
arrest, prompting his wife Judith Ajeani to persuade him to pull out altogether.
Police surgeon Byaruhanga reportedly approached Dr Onzivua, asking him to surrender the samples so they could be flown for further tests in the United Kingdom. The consultant pathologist declined, insisting he was on the team
on Parliament’s account that required a parallel investigation to establish what killed the MP.

Separately, sources familiar with the investigation, said detectives were deployed to keep track of Dr Onzivua and alert their superiors the moment he attempted to leave the country.

He attended Sunday Mass at Christ The King Church and returned home for lunch, but via his office. Family sources said he met with the MPs to resolve some “issues that had emerged”.

Dr Baryomunsi’s statement in Parliament yesterday captured the headache Dr Onzivua faced in doing his work on behalf of the House, and he raised the complaints with Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura at the home of
Nebanda’s parents’ in Entebbe. It appeared the matter had been resolved, the Kinkizi East MP said.

That was not to be. Dr Onzivua got late evening calls from what he believed were security operatives, cautioning him to step back. At one point, he considered pulling out of the South African trip due to the unbearable

Detectives under Deputy CIID chief Geoffrey Musana’s instructions reportedly summoned and questioned him. Later, he wrote a letter to the CIID boss, Ms Grace Akullo, seeking guidance on a professional duty that had turned
controversial and potentially hazardous.

Ms Akullo had also been reportedly asked about how specimens were taken from the body of the MP without her knowledge.

The Monday meeting at Mulago Hospital convened following an understanding between Lt. Gen. Kayihura and Dr Baryomunsi, apparently authorised Dr Onzivua to fly to South Africa.

Police Spokesperson Judith Nabakooba, contrary to Dr Bayromunsi’s account to Parliament, said the stakeholders never reached a consensus, maintaining that some sample was “irregularly obtained by individuals not involved in
the police investigation, and without knowledge of the Police”.

In an earlier statement, the police accused the pathologist contracted by Parliament of “attempting to smuggle the samples out of the country”.
Ms Nabakooba, however, failed to cite the specific law under which police acted.

In Parliament, MP Abdu Katuntu said the line of investigations to yield evidence for probably prosecution of anyone over the death of Nebanda was to be obtained by the Government Chief Chemist, who had received a separate set of the samples. What was given to Dr Onzivua, according to Mr Katuntu, himself a lawyer, was for parallel toxicological tests to satisfy the curiosity of Parliament and the bereaved family on the exact cause of the MP’s death.

As Dr Onzivua left his home at 4am on Monday, he telephoned a relative in Entebbe to announce he would leave his car in their home, and pick it up on return from South Africa. What he did not know was that SIU officers were on
his trail. The family lost contact with him around that time. Telephone calls to him went unanswered and he never replied the short text messages.

Kampala Central MP Mohammad Nsereko was reportedly on the same flight, and ensured Dr Onzivua checked in before he sauntered in through the VIP lounge.
South African airlines officials said Dr Onzivua had checked in and had a boarding pass, but was stopped from boarding by Immigration officials, who said there were “some issues”.
Those issues, it turned out, kept him in police custody the whole day – and possibly overnight.

Cerinah Nebanda’s death: Pathologist arrested, dad breaks silence

By Sheila Naturinda, Mercy Nalugo & Martin Ssebuyira

Posted  Tuesday, December 18  2012 at  11:53

The ongoing requiem service for the fallen Butaleja Woman MP is in commotion following revelation a pathologist contracted privately by Parliament and the family to take sample of her body parts for further examination in a South African laboratory has been arrested.

Entebbe Airport Police commander Tinka Zarugaba, however, denies they are holding the unnamed pathologist. Immigration officials at Entebbe Airport too say they are unaware, according to our Correspondent Martin Ssebuyira

In Kampala, Parliamentary Commissioner Dr Chris Baryomunsi, who is a member of the medical team that carried out the inconclusive autopsy at Mulago Hospital, tells mourners at Christ The King church, that the hired pathologist was intercepted at the aerodrome facility.

MP Baryomunsi says they fear the pathologist could have been deprived of the body samples already as his whereabouts remain unknown. The MP says they had “several disagreements” in a separate meeting yesterday with top detectives at Mulago Hospital boardroom. It is unclear who called the meeting and why. The said meeting lasted from 6pm to midnight, and its details remain scanty.

Meanwhile, the father of Nebanda says after the death of his daughter, some people identifying themselves as New Vision newspaper journalists pulled him aside and asked him for permission to write that the legislator had died of “heart attack”. The circumstances of the death of the Butaleja Woman MP is still shrouded in controversy.  

She reportedly collapsed at a friend’s home in a city suburb last Friday, and was pronounced dead moments after arrival at Mukwaya General Clinic in Nsambya. Initial findings of the postmortem done at Mulago, showed she had pancreas inflammation and a consolidated lung, Dr Baryomunsi said on Sunday. Pathologists also found granules of rice and traces of alcohol-like substance.

According to Dr Baryomunsi, preliminary investigations show Nebanda, 24, died as a result of multiple organ failures arising from a toxic substance. The additional forensic tests planned to be carried out in South Africa was to help establish what the killer substance is. The late MP’s family has raised the red flag of a possible foul play in the sudden death.

President Museveni, who visited the bereaved family on Monday, said government did not eliminate Nebanda, a vocal regime critic. He warns anyone spreading such rumour will be arrested and prosecuted.

Police in U-turn, confirm arrest of pathologist over Nebanda’s postmortem


Posted  Tuesday, December 18  2012 at  13:44

Police say pathologist Sylvestre Onzivua, whom they arrested at Entebbe airport as he tried to fly out to South Africa, had no authority to undertake conclusive toxicological tests abroad without government involvement.
In a statement, the Force Spokesperson Judith Nabakooba notes that Dr Onzivua allegedly acquired the body parts “irregularly”. He is in custody at an unnamed confinement facility in Kampala, and the statement says detectives are questioning him on how he acquired the body parts, circumstances of their storage and who authorised him.
Parliament & the fallen MP’s family reportedly contracted the senior Makerere University lecturer to fly the samples to a South African laboratory for conclusive toxicological tests. Government now faults him for violating the law and procedure on doing autopsies.
The pathologist, according to police, was trying to “smuggle” the body parts out of the country.
The police initially denied Onzivua’s arrest, but rushed out the statement after Daily Monitor broke the story of the pathologists’ incarceration this morning. He had been scheduled to take South African Airways flight SA 161.
Airline official he checked in normally before Immigrations and security operatives picked him from the waiting lounge.

Nebanda death: Pathologist still in Police custody 

Publish Date: Dec 19, 2012

By Simon Masaba

Police are still holding a Mulago Hospital pathologist, Dr. Sylvester Onzivua after his arrest on Tuesday at Entebbe Airport while taking body samples of fallen MP Cerinah Nebanda to South Africa for forensic investigations.

However, there is still uncertainty surrounding the doctor's fate as sources have revealed that Dr. Onzivua is set to appear before court.

The Police Spokesperson, Judith Nabakooba however said Dr. Onzivua is still in their custody and refuted claims of him being arraigned in court.

“Police is still seeking advice from the Director Public prosecutions on how to proceed,” Nabakooba said.
Dr. Onzivua is held at the Special investigations Unit in Kireka, a Kampala suburb.

Parliament Commissioner, Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, on Tuesday narrated to the House how Police had arrested and detained a pathologist commissioned to carry out forensic investigations into the death of Nebanda.

The Mulago Hospital pathologist, Dr. Onzivua was arrested just as he was about to fly to South Africa.

Baryomunsi narrated to Parliament that he had been part of a team undertaking a postmortem process involving representatives of parliament, the deceased's family and Police.

He said since the Preliminary results of the Post-Mortem were inconclusive, it was agreed to do further forensic investigations. He explained that it was agreed to split the samples into three portions.

Police pathologist Dr. Moses Byaruhanga took the sample for police, Dr. Sam Kalungi took the samples for government pathologist and Dr. Sylvester Onvizua was given the samples for an independent examination on behalf of parliament and the deceased's family.

"We agreed that that a separate medical examination be carried out by Parliament together with the deceased's family. We were there as samples were being removed from the body in three separate sets.  Parliament tasked Dr. Onzivua to go to South Africa but police intercepted him," Baryomunsi said.

Baryomunsi narrated that on Monday he received complaints from Dr. Onzivua that security people were following him and harassing on phone.