By Ivan Mwine
The list of people who face arrest for allegedly spreading unfounded information to the effect that fallen Speaker Jacob Oulanyah was poisoned keeps growing and as you read this, the number of suspects could be hitting the 100th mark.
This comes after sources revealing that the police plan to summon over 100 people to question them as to why they are alleging that Oulanyah died of poison, yet officials from ministry of Health contend that he died of natural causes.
It should be noted that on April 5th, 2022 when Parliament held a special sitting in honour of Oulanyah’s life, health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng told the nation that Oulanyah died of multiple organ failure as a result of surgery he underwent several years back.
However, during Oulanyah’s burial at Ajuri village, Lalogi sub-county in Omoro District, the deceased’s father Nathan Lokori reiterated his earlier statement by alleging that his son had been poisoned.
The same allegations were also reiterated by former State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda Suubi, who told mourners that he had learnt about Oulanyah’s poisoning but that the deceased had pleaded with him to keep silent about it.
It is such utterances and others made by various people that prompted the police to announce the move to issue summons to all individuals and media outlets that have been spreading the falsehoods.
The police spokesperson CP Fred Enanga said during a press conference on Monday that; “These will include; Hon. Godfrey Suubi Kiwanda, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi who was mentioned by Hon. Kiwanda, Hon. Gilbert Olanya, Hon. Santa Okot, Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert, Bosmic Otim, Mzee Lokori Nathan, selected cultural and local leaders as well as several other bloggers.”
A statement issued by Enanga over the matter reads in full thus;
“CID TO ISSUE SUMMONS OVER FORMER SPEAKER’S DEATH
As you are all aware, the cause of death of the Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, was clearly revealed as “Multiple organ failure of the heart, lungs, liver and kidney” from the University of Washington Medical Centre, in Seattle, USA.
The Former Speaker had also attended other hospitals in Germany, the Uganda Cancer Institute and other hospitals, after he was diagnosed with Cancer in 2019.
From all these hospitals, there was no trace of poison, in the systemic circulation and or body organs, as per the medical records.
The deceased was treated in hospitals in Uganda, Germany and the US, under constant supervision, with numerous samples being taken regularly. All samples did not refer any clues for poisoning.
It is therefore, unfortunate that the news of the alleged poisoning of the late Rt. Hon. Jacob Oulanyah, continued to produce debates.
The public should know that in all deaths by poisoning, the identification of the poisonous substance is vital. And the presence of the poison in the systemic circulation or body organs must be proven.
We are therefore, summoning all those persons with other alleged causes of death including poisoning, for further interview and statement recording.
These will include; Hon. Godfrey Suubi Kiwanda, Hon. Chris Baryomunsi who was mentioned by Hon. Kiwanda, Hon. Gilbert Olanya, Hon. Santa Okot, Hon. Kyagulanyi Ssentamu Robert, Bosmic Otim, Mzee L’okori Nathan, selected cultural and local leaders as well as several other bloggers.
They should provide us with the chain of evidence of how the crime was committed allegedly beyond reasonable doubt, by whom, how the poison was acquired, proof of access to the victim whether directly or indirectly, and any parallel certificate of death, to help substantiate their version of cause of death.”
It should however be noted that Baryomunsi, who is the Minister for Information Communication and Technology and National Guidance, has since distanced himself from the allegations and called upon Enanga to act more professionally.
Baryomunsi, who was addressing a press conference on Tuesday, said that at this rate, Enanga is about to summon Oulanyah’s ghost to police for interrogation.
He also revealed that at this material time, summoning Oulanyah’s father to police, who is grieving the loss of his son, would be the most illogical thing and that instead of being interrogated, the old man needs counseling and social support.