As the ruling party prepares to hold a 10-day retreat for its leaders and MPs in Kyankwanzi starting today, some are likely to turn up with their own packed food.
Such is the paranoia that has gripped some MPs following the sudden and controversial death of their Butaleja Woman counterpart, Cerinah Nebanda, that some are going to great lengths to watch their backs – and their food.
Buyaga West MP Barnabas Tinkasiimire told the Daily Monitor yesterday that he will have to carry his own “biscuits and cakes” to Kyankwanzi.
“Spending 10 days in Kyankwanzi, where am I going to get food? I am not interested in taking their food with the current situation in the country; I cannot trust the food they want to give us. I will carry my own biscuits,” said Mr Tinkasiimire.
Claims by some MPs that poison was involved in Nebanda’s death have not been independently verified. A government-sanctioned autopsy found traces of narcotic drugs, but a public inquest has been ordered due to the controversy surrounding the death.
Lwemiyaga County MP Theodore Ssekikubo, who was briefly held by the police over comments he made on the matter, said: “It’s very reckless to take things for granted. It will be too early to suspect people but we need to keep our eyes open. There is need to worry but it is also important that we remain vigilant.”
Information minister and NRM party spokeswoman Mary Karooro Okurut yesterday rejected the fears as baseless.
“Are they also going to take their own air for breathing for fear that their potion of air will be poisoned or are they also taking their own water? Interesting luggage. They are free to take whatever they want,” she said.
Many MPs have, since last month, abandoned the canteen in Parliament, citing fears about their safety. MPs Ibrahim Semujju Nganda and Betty Nambooze added to the paranoia during a press conference yesterday at which they called for details of all the poisons imported into the country.
Called to give the ruling party a chance to take stock of recent events, the claims from the MPs will give the retreat plenty of food for thought – and possibly many dieting legislators.