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

Tuesday December 18 2012

President Yoweri Museveni (L) at the home of former Butaleja Woman Member of Parliament Cerinah Nebanda Arioru.

President Yoweri Museveni (L) at the home of former Butaleja Woman Member of Parliament Cerinah Nebanda Arioru. Photo by PPU 

By Sheila Naturinda, Mercy Nalugo & Martin Ssebuyira

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.

More details to follow….