Police authorities have told the tortured Mityana Municipality lawmaker, Mr Francis Zaake to choose between accepting government doctors and continued detention at Kiruddu Hospital, a government facility.
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima yesterday said Mr Zaake would be released on police bond to travel to India for specialised care after government doctors have examined him.
The lawmaker, who has been on and off life support at Lubaga Hospital, is currently detained at Kiruddu Hospital with injuries he sustained in detention after being arrested over the Arua incident. The President said the MP escaped from police custody.
The MP was on Thursday grabbed from Entebbe International Airport as his family prepared to fly him to India for specialised treatment.
Mr Zaake together with the Kyadondo East MP, Mr Robert Kyagulanyi, aka Bobi Wine, were forced into waiting police ambulances and taken to Kiruddu Hospital, a government facility.
Mr Zaake was immediately put under arrest in connection with the alleged stoning of a presidential vehicle. At least 33 suspects, including Bobi Wine who is now admitted in a US hospital over the injuries he said were inflicted on him by security agencies, have been charged with treason.
Government medical experts led by the Mulago National Referral Hospital executive director, Dr Byarugaba Baterana, spent the bigger part of Friday evening trying to examine Zaake and MP Kyagulanyi.
Unlike Bobi Wine who accepted to be examined at Kiruddu and immediately cleared to travel to Washington DC, Mr Zaake rejected the government doctors since he couldn’t trust them. Police insist that the bedridden legislator will not be allowed to leave the country unless he has accepted doctors from Mulago National Referral Hospital.
The hippocratic oath, an oath historically taken by physicians does not allow doctors to conduct any medical procedure on patients without their consent. This is contained in the Medical & Dental Practitioners Act & the Code of Ethics for Medical and Dental Practitioner.
Ms Bridget Namirembe told Sunday Monitor that her husband was not ready to be examined by government doctors because he does not trust them after he was put in the current condition by people he said work for the same government.
Government, said the two MPs were to undergo medical examinations by its group of medical doctors to ascertain their health condition before being allowed to fly out of the country for further medication.
Mr Kyagulanyi travelled with his wife and other close relatives.
“We were able to do examination on [MP] Bobi Wine but the people of [MP] Zaake did not allow us to access him. So, we did not do examination on him (Zaake) despite waiting for three hours,” said Dr Byarugaba.
Dr Byarugaba said the team of nine doctors who examined Mr Kyagulanyi will remain on standby to attend to Mr Zaake anytime he consents.
He also described the pop star cum political activist Bobi Wine as “cooperative”, adding that his two personal doctors, his wife Barbie Kyagulanyi, siblings and a lawyer were there as observers.
“The medical code of conduct does not permit me to discuss the results of the examination. But what I can assure you is that we gave him a meticulous touch of the supreme court of medicine,” Dr Byarugaba said.
Lawyer not satisfied
Other doctors who took part in the examination are: Marlon Nyati, Rukundo Rugare, Micheal Muhumuza, Emmanuel Seremba, Pasko Kwitonda, Ivan Kisuule, Juliet Sekabejja and Rugati Gideon.
Mr Kyagulanyi’s lawyer, Nicholas Opiyo later released a short video he recorded when the legislator (on a wheelchair), his wife Baribie and his brother Mickie Wine were going through the Entebbe airport VIP lounge shortly before boarding a KLM Royal Dutch Airline flight to Amsterdam.
Mr Opiyo said he was not satisfied with the form of medical examination the government doctors did on Bobi.
He said that should have been done at the airport on Thursday instead of delaying him for another 24 hours. He said the doctors who spent about 24 minutes in the room only checked on Bobi Wine and asked him a few questions as they recorded notices.
“When the doctors came in, they were fast to dismiss the medical results made by doctors from other hospitals. They did not take any samples or do any scans, I think all they came to do is make the President (Museveni) satisfied with his claims that the two MPs are in good condition,” Mr Opiyo said.
He said it is hard to believe why a team of nine doctors would enter the room where the patient was without any specific medical equipment apart from a blood pressure testing kit.
As for Mr Zaake, who remains in Kiruddu Hospital under the watchful eye of the police since he is under arrest, the doctors did not even enter his room on the 7th floor where his lawyer Asuman Basalirwa and family members were waiting.
No caution, charge
Mr Basalirwa who said he left the hospital at around 11pm without seeing any doctors attending to Zaake, also said there was no caution and charge statement recorded by the legislator.
“It is not true that Zaake recorded a statement as it is being claimed. Detectives had not come to his room by 11pm when I left the hospital. Zaake was not examined and still remains under arrest,” he said.
Mr Kayima said in a statement on Friday evening that the police blocked Bobi Wine from travelling on Thursday because the Director of Public Prosecution, Mike Chibita had instructed the police to investigate allegations of torture on him.
He said the complaint about torture on Mr Bobi Wine was filed to DPP by the Uganda Law Society.
“On receipt of the directive (from DPP), the Uganda Police Force opened a general enquiry file (GEF) and commenced investigations. This investigation requires a medical examination of the alleged victim as close as possible in time to the alleged date commission of the offence by government medical experts,” Mr Kayima said in a press release.
He said police has now allowed, Bobi Wine to leave the country after the examination was conducted, adding that this could not be possible on Thursday.
Mr Zaake, Kyagulanyi and a number of MPs and other politicians, including the new MP for Arua Municipality Kassiano Wadri, were embroiled in a spat with security agents on the last day of campaigns for the Arua Municipality seat last month. Thirty three people, including Kyagulanyi and Mr Wadri, have since been charged with treason over allegations of stoning the President’s motorcade in the Arua fracas, where President Museveni had gone to canvass support for his NRM party’s candidate, Ms Nusura Tiperu.
Following the violent episodes that left Kyagulanyi’s former driver Yasin Kawuma shot dead and many nursing gunshot wounds, with Bobi Wine and Mr Zaake beaten into near coma, President Museveni said Mr Zaake had escaped from police custody. That was days after the authorities at Lubaga Hospital in Kampala said Mr Zaake had been dropped at the facility by unidentified people.