18 December 2012

Uganda: Police Chief Warns Against Reckless Media Statements

The IGP of police Gen Kale Kayihura has warned individuals against making reckless statements to the media about the mysterious death of Butaleja Woman MP Cerinah Nebanda.

Kayihura told off individuals who have been making such statements to stop because it undermines police investigations.

He said several politicians have hinted directly and indirectly that Nebanda was poisoned and died at Mukwaya clinic on Dec 14.

Kayihura said he wishes to advise such persons that there are laws that protect Police investigations, and they shall not hesitate to take action against anybody violating those laws.

However he concluded that whoever has useful information about the tragic death of Hon Nebanda should bring it to the Police to assist in investigation.

Below is Kayihura's statement in full:

On Friday, 14th of December, 2012, at around 9.00pm, Police got information that the Hon. Cerinah Nebanda, the Woman MP for Butaleja, had passed away in Mukwaya General Clinic, in the Nsambya suburb of Kampala City.

Police, immediately, commenced investigations, the objective of which is to establish the cause, and circumstances leading to the death of Hon. Nebanda.

As part of the investigation, and consistent with standard procedure where death has occurred, Police requested the Mulago Hospital to carry out a post-mortem examination on the body of the deceased.

Indeed, the following day, Saturday, 15th December 2012, the post-mortem examination was carried out. The examination was conducted by a team of pathologists, led by Prof. Henry Wabinga, a Senior Pathologist from Makerere University, Department of Pathology, and included the Head of Police Medical Services and a Pathologist, Dr. Moses Byaruhanga.

Police allowed representatives from the family, and from some members of Parliament, at their request, to observe the post-mortem examination.

It is important to point out that Police requires post mortem examinations because they are critical source of evidence in determining cause of death.

As the results of the post-mortem examination in Mulago hospital were not conclusive, the team of pathologists referred to the Government Analytical Laboratory certain samples for further tests.

It is only after the team of pathologists has received results of the forensic tests from the Government Analytical laboratory that determination of cause of death can be made in a certified post mortem report, which is submitted to the investigating officers of the Police.

In the meantime, as we wait for the post mortem report, Police is making significant progress in developing useful leads, from witnesses, from a joint team of forensic analysts of the Police and the Government Analytical Laboratory, as well as other different sources, which, combined with the expected results of the post mortem examination, should, ultimately, establish, conclusively, the cause of, and the circumstances that led to, the death of the Hon. Nebanda.

It is, therefore, speculative and dangerous at this stage for anybody to suggest, and make public utterances as to what caused the death of the Hon Nebanda.

Accordingly, we appeal to the public to be patient, and wait for the results of the Police investigation.

Further, we strongly caution persons who, since the death of the Hon Nebanda, have been making reckless, irresponsible, misleading, unfounded, and insensitive statements in the media, as well as in public meetings, to stop this dangerous trend forthwith.

Such utterances, among other things, have the effect of interfering with, and/or undermining the integrity of the Police investigation. We wish to advise such persons that there are laws that protect Police investigations, and we shall not hesitate to take action against anybody violating these laws.

Instead, whoever has any useful information about the tragic death of the Hon Nebanda should bring to the Police to assist us in our investigation.

At this juncture, let me express appreciation to the family of the late Hon. Nebanda, as well as a number of members of the public, who have come forward, and given the Police invaluable information, in the course of our investigation.

Lt Gen Kale Kayihura

Inspector General of Police

17th December, 2012.

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