Uganda: Doctors Carrying Out Many Tests On Bobi

The scene outside Kirudu Hospital, where it is believed two Ugandan MPs are being examined after being blocked from leaving the country.

Almost 48 hours after his release, Kyadondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine's private doctors at Lubaga Hospital are checking everything on the list of his health concerns.

From the liver, skull, internal organs, to the blood, everything is being examined to the minutest detail. Lubaga Hospital has restricted access to bedridden Bobi Wine to allow medics conduct several tests on the MP without much interruption.

The MP was wheeled into the hospital on Monday night after a gruelling seven-hour-journey from Gulu where he was bailed by the High Court alongside 33 others also charged with alleged treason.

He was taken to the same section of the hospital where Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake Butebi, also a victim of the brutality meted out by suspected presidential guards in Arua, is admitted. His admission in the Kampala hospital has attracted many visitors, forcing Lubaga to close off the entire section to the public.

Only his wife Barbie Itungo; brother Eddie Yawe, lawyer Asuman Basalirwa, Kampala Catholic Archbishop Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga and Anglican Assistant Bishop of Kampala Hannington Mutebi were allowed in on Tuesday.

"There are several doctors that have been lined up to carry out various tests and examinations; they have requested for time to do their work," Basalirwa told The Observer.

Several politicians, artistes and journalists flocked outside the entrance to the surgical ward where the two young MPs are admitted.

Yawe told journalists that the seven-hour-drive from Gulu which involved hold ups along the road due to huge crowds which gathered to welcome Bobi at all the major trading centres along the Gulu-Kampala highway, had left his brother exhausted.

"But we are also trying to find out what is inside him... multiple tests are going to be done in and out - our concentration is on the intrinsic investigation; which internal organ is functioning well, which one is not functioning and which chemicals was he injected with ," Yawe said.

According to Yawe, they are paying a lot of attention to the MP's kidney and skull given that a UPDF physician told Itungo that the kidney was damaged during the torture he was subjected to.

"It was their [UPDF] scan that pointed to the kidney damage. We haven't seen their scan results, and, out of the torture, he bled through the ears which makes us suspect that the skull could have been damaged," Yawe said.

As Lubaga conducts the tests, the musician-cum-politician had by Tuesday evening received offers from 10 hospitals in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, South Africa and Kenya for further treatment.

"When we find out the specific problem he has, we shall then look at the various offers that we have and take him to one with the best facilities," Yawe said.

Meanwhile, the police have written to Lubaga management asking them to surrender Zaake for transfer to the National Referral Hospital Mulago.

According to an August 26 letter by the director of Criminal Investigations, Grace Akullo, Zaake is among the people who were arrested in Arua on August 13 and taken to Arua police station.

"At Arua Police station counter, Hon Zaake allegedly collapsed and was taken to Arua Regional Referral Hospital by the regional criminal investigations [RCID] officer, West Nile, and another officer in uniform. He was received by medical personnel at the Out Patients Department [OPD] and ushered in one of the rooms. At the OPD, the uniformed police officer was left to keep watch and RCID officer went back to manage other matters at the police station," Akullo wrote.

"After about 30 minutes, the RCID officer went back to the hospital and inquired from the medical personnel the whereabouts of Hon Francis Zaake. They informed him that he was taken by two people whom he [Zaake] seems to know. However, the police officer who had been left to keep watch was never informed by the medical personnel that some people wanted to take him," she further wrote.

Akullo further claims that Zaake vanished from a room in the hospital's private ward where he had been transferred after a medical officer had stabilised him.

"A case of escape from lawful custody was opened against Zaake. On August 17, the police received information that he was actually admitted at Lubaga hospital in critical condition and that he was dumped at the gate of the hospital by unknown people," Akullo stated.

She said that Zaake is being investigated alongside the 34 treason suspects that were bailed on Monday.

"There are allegations that he was assaulted during arrest on August 13. We therefore request that Zaake be transferred from Lubaga hospital to Mulago National Referral Hospital [to be checked] by specialists who will then furnish us with a report of his health status to enable us proceed with investigations," Akullo wrote.

Lubaga hospital management was not available for comment but they are understood to have handed over the letter to their legal representatives for advice. In Parliament on Tuesday, MPs refused to handle any government business until after the executive has explained the brutality meted out on MPs.

Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah adjourned the House for two days within which President Museveni is expected to respond to the concerns raised by Speaker Rebecca Kadaga. Kadaga on August 27 wrote to Museveni demanding that the security people who tortured MPs and other civilians in Arua be quickly arrested and arraigned in court.

This is the second time the Speaker is writing to Museveni over a similar issue, having first written to him early this year demanding an explanation for the raid on parliament, and beating up of opposition MPs, by presidential guard soldiers.

Special Forces Command troops attacked parliament in December 2017 during the heated process which saw a constitutional amendment to lift presidential age limits late last year.

Oulanyah unsuccessfully tried to agree with Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda's plea that the matter be left to a higher level but a spirited fight from MPs, notably Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (KIra Municipality), Theodore Ssekikubo (Lwemiyaga) and Maurice Kibalya (Bugabula South) forced him to yield.

Interviewed for a comment, Army spokesperson Richard Karemire said the army has launched an inquiry to ascertain what exactly happened in Arua and hold the errant security operatives to account.

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