25 December 2012

Uganda: Special Inquest to Investigate Lawmaker's Death

President Yoweri Museveni has said that Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and MPs purporting to know Cerinah Nebanda's killers will have to give evidence to the Police and a special inquest to be set up.

"If Hon. Kadaga knows who killed Nebanda, that we do not know, then she will tell the Police and indeed the coroner. With crime, it is not a joke. It is a serious thing...," Museveni said.

At a press conference on Monday, Museveni castigated Parliament for usurping powers of the Police to conduct investigations into a crime. He also said that a group of MPs are bent on lying and intentionally misinforming the nation regarding the death of the MP.

He said that he cannot be harsh on Nebanda's mother because she is a parent who has lost a child and crooks are taking advantage of this vulnerability to misinform and manipulate her. "But we shall go for the crooks," Museveni said in response to journalists queries about the mafias in Government who are to be killing outspoken critics.

Museveni said that the MPs who are telling lies about Nebanda's death include Dr. Chris Baryomunsi (Kinkizi County East), Theodore Sekikubo (Lwemiyaga County), Wilfred Niwagaba (Mdorwa County East), Medard Bitekyerezo (Mbarara Municipality), Sam Lyomoki (Workers) and Emmanuel Dombo (Bunyole County East). He said that it is because of these MPs' indiscipline that he decided to talk to Ugandans on Nebanda's death.

"Dombo will tell us because he said he knows who killed Nebanda," Museveni said.

"I have nothing but contempt for those who have been peddling the line that NRM could have had a hand in Hon. Nebanda's death... we only kill armed enemies in armed combat. Yes NRM has killed but has killed those are armed enemies in combats. Anyone who says that we killed Nebanda is an idiot, a fool and disposable and they will know what it means to fight NRM," Museveni said sternly.

"Why kill Nebanda? For being a cheeky young person who was being manipulated by crooks? She and other young people have been manipulated by crooks. Why kill such children? In fact I have been trying to rescue them from this manipulation. There were many cadres who were rebellious but we convinced them, to return. In fact some of them are now serving in Government because we talk to them. That Namayanja (points at Luwero Triangle Minister) was a rebel, in fact she was an opponent and we talked to her and she came to us. I talk to critics. Which idiot does not know that in Uganda? Kill someone just for criticising? How about the people who have shot at us and we talk to them and win them over? Why Nebanda?

What I regret is that I hadn't called her to interact with her and talk to her except at one time when I called them as youth and in her cheeky way asked for something and we did it for her," Museveni said.

"If you hear people saying that Government kills people extra-judicially, it means that if they were in power they would do exactly that. He said that the NRM does not do that,: The President said.

The tough talking Museveni said Government was making good progress in the investigations into the death of Nebanda vowing that Karungi said to have been Nebanda's boyfriend will be arrested. He said his two friends with whom he was when they dumped Nebanda's body at the clinic have already been arrested.

He said that Nebanda's death came as a shock to him because she had been in Parliament earlier that day. "But as fighters we have a culture of not panicking in the face of adversity," Museveni said

He said he told the MP, Lumumba who had called him to inform him about Nebanda's death, to call him again when he reaches the clinic where the body was. "When she called me, I insisted on speaking to the doctors to tell me who had brought Nebanda there," he said. I was told that two had run away when the doctor told them Nebanda was dead, but the clinical officer who was with them was still around.

The President said that when he finally spoke to the clinical officer, he could not speak English well and said he spoke Luganda. He said that the clinical officer said that Nebanda's friends had contacted the clinic where he worked asking for help and that they were trying to give her what they called first aid.

Museveni said that he instructed Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura to concentrate on the clinical officer to get the truth. He said that the Police were also shown the house where Nebanda's problems started and records are there to show what Police did there.

"Electronic and other sources made it clear to the Police and me as to what had cause the problem. What remained was the toxicology reports to know what it was. The Post mortem showed that Nebanda did not die of natural causes but was killed by substances that affected her organs. So what were these substances that affected her organs? Were they poisons or narcotics?," Museveni said.

He said that her internal organs were collected for further tests and the Government Analytical Lab decided to use an external lab in the UK which they always used on such issues. "On my orders a second lab in Israel was identified," Museveni said.

Museveni said that the UK results came but the ones in Israel have not yet come in because they were sent late.

"The UK results showed that Nebanda died from taking drugs. The family got a copy of the list of the drugs. These could have been taken voluntarily or accidentally. According to human sources, this could have been accidental ingestion," Museveni said.

"What cannot be contested is that Nebanda either knowingly or unknowingly was in wrong company of drug users or sellers. I have known this right from the beginning of these problems when she died but I and the Police had decided to keep quiet as investigations go on.

The Police has made more arrests of more drug dealers, Karungi's associates. Even Karungi will be arrested...Museveni said.

"Now these people who are talking don't seem to be talking to parents. Nebanda was a young girl. I looked at her as a parent. Not that she had a big title of honourable. I look at her as a young girl who has missed out on life because of an unfortunate incident... children like Nebanda would be like my grandchildren," Museveni said.

He said that he wants to alert parents not to take for granted their children's lives. "Parents please monitor the company of your children. There are lots of dangers waiting for teenagers and adolescents and by these I mean people up to 30 years. Don't take the European attitude that when one attains 18 years, then they are old enough to manage their affairs. It would be good if parents are retained as consultants," the President said.

Teenagers and adolescents are careful of your lifestyle and the associates you get. Avoid alcohol because it is of no use and live a purpose driven life," he advised.

Museveni said that he is extending heartfelt condolences to Nebanda's family and the people of Butaleja.

The President said that he convened the Press conference because the groups of undisciplined MPs have made it a habit to disturb peace of Ugandans. He said that the government has fou8ght many wars and the country is peaceful and the soldiers are disciplined but the problem remains the undisciplined civilians who lie and work for foreign interests.

He said that such undisciplined MPs started in the sixth Parliament lying to the people and even sabotaging government projects like Bujagali and Uganda had to suffer because of that mistake. He said that next they brought forged documents purporting it to be evidence on oil bribes and demanded Ministers resign. Even the Constitutional Court had to rule that the MPs were acting unconstitutionally.

'I kept quiet because I am always looking for peace. We did not follow up. Then the other day, they again made so much confusion insulting people calling them thieves. That I am a thief and they claim that they are doing this because they are exercising their oversight role... when we call you names like honourable; you think you have a right to insult people? We shall fight you. We will use legal means.

Museveni scoffed at Parliament for passing a resolution ordering Police to stop investigations into Nebanda's death. "Who are you to stop the police from investigating a crime? The Constitution gives that mandate only to the Police. How about if there are criminals in parliament itself who were behind the death?

When someone dies under unclear circumstances, you don't know who has killed them. Even relatives can do it. Suppose the killer was in parliament?

Museveni also refused the public appeal made by Nebanda's mother not to prosecute Dr. Sylvester Onzivua over the samples that were being taken to South Africa. He said that Police is charging Onzivua because the samples that were being taken out were stolen and hadn't been handled professionally

"I would let him go through the court process and if he is convicted that she can ask me to use the prerogative of mercy to get him out of prison. Impunity is intolerable.

He said that before his interception at Entebbe, Onzivua and the MPs had ignored police instruction not to take the samples unless they were ascertained that they were the correct ones.. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) called Baryomunsi and everybody to stop, but they ignored it. How can anyone be sure that those samples were not different from the ones from Nebanda's body?

Museveni said that whoever was interested in an independent examination should have asked for the samples got from Nebanda's body witnessed by everybody including the Police. He said that these samples were kept in the Government labs and getting part of them would have necessitated having the police and others concerned to witness this retrieval. The samples would than have been sealed under witness and taken by whoever escorted by the Police to ensure no tampering.

"Dr. Onzivua is not a private pathologist, he is a government employee? Museveni said. "The MPs were not doing an independent investigation; they were engaged in an illegality. Crime is independent of individuals. Even me as the President, I am not allowed to keep sample of a criminality. This will not be tolerated," he said.

He said that Onzivua was not even the main pathologist at this case. He came in at the request of Baryomunsi to help the main pathologist and the police pathologist. "Then he stole the samples. This is unheard of. It is sacrilege. He said even the MPs imposed themselves on the team that carried out the postmortem and police let them be.

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