The parents of the late singer Sarah Nampijja, a.k.a. Sera, are considering taking legal action against Mulago hospital pathologists for delaying to release the postmortem of their daughter.
Mr John Kakooza and his wife, Elizabeth Wolura, told this newspaper yesterday in a telephone interview that they suspect “foul play” in their daughter’s death and blamed police and Mulago for handling the case casually.
Kampala Metropolitan Police Spokesperson Ibin Ssenkumbi, however, said police had received the postmortem report from Mulago and it was in their file.
“I don’t know if Oumo has contacted the parents to come and look at the postmortem yet but I can confirm that we have it now,” said Mr Ssenkumbi.
The CID officer in-charge of the case, Mr Simon Oumo, had last week told this newspaper that the autopsy results were with police and he was going to hand it over to the parents.
Mr Kakooza blamed police and Mulago of “playing a cat-and-mouse game” with them.
“That has been the case for the last three weeks, promising to give us the postmortem and then they change their stance when the promised day arrives,” said Mr Kakooza.
“We talked to Oumo (yesterday) and he again promised to avail the postmortem report to us on Friday (this week).”
Sera, who was in her mid-twenties, died on July 31 while returning from a burial in Masaka.
She reportedly developed stomach complications while in the vehicle and shortly started vomiting blood before she died, and while the cause of her death remains unclear, controversial stories have continued to amass – among which is suspected poisoning.
“Sera never had ulcers like those people are saying but in order to lay to rest not only our daughter but also rumours of foul play presence in her death, we want the postmortem results now,” said Ms Wolura. “It’s just humane to want to know the cause of your dear ones.”
The public relations officer at Mulago, Mr Enock Kusasira, said they gave the postmortem report to police last week and they expected them to pass on the information to the parents.
But Mr Ssenkumbi said: “I honestly think Mulago has been unfair to Sera’s parents. They should have given them a copy of the postmortem since it’s the parents who demanded for the postmortem.”
Sera’s former employer Swangz Avenue music company has also been the subject of suspicion over the upcoming singer’s death. One person was arrested and quizzed for more than five hours at the Central Police Station two weeks ago.
The suspect was later released on police bond and he has since travelled to the UK.
“We are aware that he (suspect) is out of the country and his sureties have assured us that he is coming back soon,” said Mr Charles Kataratambi, the CID commander, who was in charge of the case before his transfer.
“As parents we have developed a big vacuum in our hearts that widens each passing day as we continue to wait for the elusive report,” Ms Wolura added. “Rumours in town continue to disturb our minds. As you all know it’s difficult to forget Sera as she is still fresh in people’s minds, and yet we don’t have any concrete answer, something that continues to haunt us.”
Days before the suspect was arrested, Swangz Avenue released a press statement saying: “We trust that the medical personnel at Mulago will end our frustration with a conclusive postmortem report very soon as promised. We are hopeful that this report will offer answers to glaring questions. However, should we still fail to find answers we shall engage other relevant authorities to help us fill in the gaps.”
Ebola, ulcers and many other diseases have been cited in Sera’s death but only the Mulago pathologists can identify the true cause of the death of the youthful girl.
“Deep inside my heart I know that our daughter’s death was total malice but we ask police to help us dig out the truth because maybe another artiste or family member will die just like that,” said Mr Kakooza.