Uganda: Woman MP Nebanda Could Have Been Poisoned

The question on everyone’s lips has been: who killed the Butaleja Woman MP, Cerinah Nebanda?

But this question, which has been met with many conspiracy theories, can only be answered after ascertaining what killed her. News of Nebanda’s death started circulating on Friday evening, as medical personnel from Mukwaya General clinic, in Nsambya, confirmed the death of the vibrant and courageous MP.

According to reported accounts from the police, the cause of Nebanda’s death was probably drug abuse. This particular account of the police appears corroborated by evidence found at the Buziga home of Nebanda’s boyfriend, a one Kalungi, and the allegation that the deceased was in company of suspected drug addicts.

However, preliminary post mortem results have ruled out drug abuse as the cause of death. Addressing the media yesterday, the Kinkiizi East MP, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, part of the medical team that conducted the postmortem, said they found external toxic substances. These allegedly caused acute pancreatic failure and lung consolidation.

“We found her pancreas inflamed and the lungs were consolidation,” Baryomunsi said.

He said the examination revealed that the pancreas and the lungs were in a normal state but their failure was caused by the external substances.

“We examined the body and found out that the deceased did not have any problems with the pancreas or the lungs in the past. But, we established that problem was acute, something that means that there was external influence of substance that caused the system failure,” he told The Observer.

During the medical examination at the Mulago-based medical school, Baryomunsi was in the company of other MPs like Dr Medard Bitekyerezo (Mbarara Municipality) and Dr Sam Lyomoki, together with the deceased’s family pathologist. Although they found alcoholic content in Nebanda’s body, Baryomunsi said it was not the cause of death, since the liver was intact.

“If it was alcohol, the liver should have been the first to be affected but the examination revealed that the liver was normal,” he said.

Besides, preliminary findings also ruled out the suspicion of strangulation and injuries. “We examined the naked eyes but it did not lead us to that,” he said.

Although, Baryomunsi said that heart attacks and high blood pressure always led to the symptom of naked eyes, the examinations ruled the aforementioned causes. But now that the cause of the death is believed to have been a chemical toxic substance, which many are interpreting to mean poison, Baryomunsi said that toxicological analysis would start today, to find out the name of the toxic substance.

“Some samples have been submitted to the government chemist and some have been sent to South Africa for independent analysis,” he said.

During today’s press briefing, Baryomunsi and MPs Elijah Okupa (FDC-Kasilo), Emmanuel Dombo (NRM- Bunyole East) and others cautioned the police and media to avoid giving contradictory accounts of the death of the deceased.

“They should avoid giving uncoordinated accounts since the results are not yet out may be they want to mislead the public,” Okupa said.

By press time, reports said Nebanda body would lie in state on tomorrow, with a special sitting of Parliament expected later the same day. Burial was scheduled for Thursday in Butaleja district.