Kampala — Police pathologists yesterday ruled out foul play in the sudden death of former rally ace Charles Muhangi, but his friends and relatives, including those who were with him hours before his demise, believe there was an evil hand involved.
Muhangi was found dead in his home in Buziga, Makindye Division, Kampala, yesterday morning.
The sudden nature of his death triggered suspicion among relatives prompting them to ask police to allow the family witness the post-mortem with participation of their private doctors.
Five private doctors among whom was Muhangi's personal physician only identified as Dr Mworozi, police pathologists Dr Moses Byaruhanga and Dr Sam Kalungi and two other doctors recommended by Muhangi's family to witness the post-mortem.
The family lawyer, Mr Wycliffe Arinaitwe and Muhangi's relative also witnessed the post-mortem at Kampala Capital City Authority mortuary at Mulago hospital.
Dr Byaruhanga said they found nothing peculiar to Muhangi's death.
"It was a natural death, we have not found anything peculiar. But we have been told that he was diabetic," Dr Byaruhanga said yesterday.
Mr Arinaitwe could not comment on the post-mortem.
"Why don't you leave us to grieve?" Mr Arinaitwe said when asked about the post-mortem findings.
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima said police are, however, still investigating the circumstances of the death and will make a decision depending on the conclusion of their detectives.
Muhangi's relatives and friends believe his death was a result of foul play despite the contrary finding of the medical examination.
Mr Charles Karangwa, one of the last people to see Muhangi on Wednesday evening, said the deceased was in high spirits when they met him.
Muhangi met Karangwa and senior police officer Seiko Chemonges at 9pm at Café Javas at City Oil on Bombo Road.
"When we met, Muhangi was in a jovial mood, talking about how he had won the court case for his Qualicel Bus Terminal that had dragged on for 14 years. I can tell you that Muhangi was killed. Let us wait for the investigations," Mr Karangwa said.
He suspects Muhangi's drinks were laced with something sinister to finish him off.
Mr Karangwa said at Café Javas, he and Muhangi drank hot chocolate while other people in their company drank tea.
"He drank two cups of chocolate, I drank one. He also met a businessman he has been at loggerheads with for years. I cannot tell you the name right now because the police is previewing the footage of the area to do their investigations," Mr Karangwa said.
Besides Mr Chemonges, Muhangi had other companions, including a senior officer in President's Office whose identity was not disclosed.
Karangwa said after their meeting, Muhangi asked the waiter to pack for him some juice and left with it.
Mr Chemonges also corroborated Mr Karangwa's information that Muhangi was in a jovial mood.
He said during their brief interaction, Muhangi described himself as a fighter, referring to his property ownership wrangles he has had with businessman Mr Drake Lubega.
RELATIVES, FRIENDS FLOck HOME
Muhangi is popularly referred to by rally fans as Ekitaguriro, a code name for his rally car Subaru Impreza that helped him win the African Rally Championship in 1999.
News of his abrupt death was first broken on social media.
Relatives and friends went to his home in Mawanga Lower in Munyonyo on Gava Road upon learning of the rally ace's death.
Muhangi was found dead in his bed at about 7am while his wife Patience Mbabazi Muhangi had taken children to school.
Mr Robert Bwire, the area local chairperson for Mawanga Lower, told Daily Monitor that he was called to the home shortly after the deceased was found dead in his bed. Muhangi was expected to meet some of his workers at an unknown venue yesterday morning.
However, when he failed to show up at an agreed venue by 7am, the workers became nervous and called his home. People at home then went to contact him in the bedroom only to find him dead.
Some of the people who rushed to Muhangi's home upon hearing the sad news included Ms Mary Karooro Okurut, the minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Hassan Basajjabalaba, the owner of Kampala International University, Mr Amanya Mushega, former education minister and East African Community Secretary General, and Mr Michael Mawanda, the Igara East MP.