Nebanda Family Pathologist Arrested, Blocked From Travelling

Ssekikubo after laying a wreath on Nebanda's casket  at Parliament
Ssekikubo after laying a wreath on Nebanda’s casket at Parliament

The Pathologist hired by Parliament and the family of fallen Butaleja Woman Member of Parliament Cerinah Nebanda to take her body parts for further scrutiny in South Africa has been arrested and blocked from traveling.

This revelation was made on Tuesday by Kinkizi Member of Parliament Dr Chris Baryomunsi at the requiem mass held for the deceased legislator at Christ the King Church in Kampala.

Dr Baryomunsi who is also a member of the team that carried out a post mortem at mulago hospital on Saturday said the pathologist was arrested at Entebbe international airport and his whereabouts are unknown drawing murmurs from the mourners in attendance.

The lawmaker collapsed at a friend’s home in a city suburb last Friday, and was pronounced dead moments after arrival at Mukwaya General Clinic in Nsambya. Her death continues to be shrouded in mystery.

At the requiem mass, Ronald Wandera, the brother of the late Nebanda could barely hold back his tears when as he addressed mourners of the pain the family has had to endure concerning media reports that had alleged the legislator could have died of possible drug overdose.

He has demanded an apology from the media houses that reported his sister could have died as result of drugs.

The Inspector General of Police Lt Gen Kale Kayihura has cautioned the media and general public against making reckless statements concerning the MP’s death.

However, Police spokeswoman Judith Nabakoba has issued a press statement with regard to the status of the said pathologist. Below is Nabakoba’s statement in full

As the Inspector-General of Police had briefed the public yesterday; Police commenced investigations following the tragic death of Hon. Cerinah Nebanda, and, among other routine procedures, requested Mulago Hospital to conduct a Post-Mortem examination on the body of the deceased.

Police allowed the family and some members of Parliament to send representatives, and observe the Post-Mortem examination. The preliminary results of the Post-Mortem were inconclusive, and the team of Pathologists referred certain samples to the Government Analytical Laboratories, for further tests.

The samples were sealed as required, and escorted to the Government Analytical Laboratories (GAL) by, among others, the MPs who had witnessed the Post-Mortem.

At GAL, such samples are, as routine procedure, received formally, their descriptions and quantities determined and documented, and the nature of the requested analysis clearly recorded.

This procedure is vital, not just for scientific purposes, but also as part the crucial ‘chain-of-custody’ requirement in criminal investigations, and, ultimately, in criminal prosecution in court.

Any samples handled outside this procedure breach the integrity of the forensic examinations, as well as making the final outcome inadmissible in any potential criminal prosecution, and suspicious.

On Monday, the 17th of December, 2012, Police discovered that certain samples from the body of the deceased had been irregularly obtained by individuals not involved in the Police investigation, and without knowledge of the Police.

Later in the day, after he had been confronted by CID, a pathologist from Mulago Hospital, Dr. Sylvester Onzivua wrote to the Director of CID, informing the CID that he had been hired by Parliament to carry out parallel forensic investigations into the death of Hon. Cerinah Nebanda, and asked for the Director’s advice.

In the evening, a meeting was convened at the offices of the Executive Director of Mulago Hospital, which was attended by five members of Parliament, a team of Police officers led by the Director of CID, two pathologists who participated in the Post-Mortem, and scientists from GAL.

It was resolved that all forensic procedures be consolidated under GAL, and that Dr. Onzivua would submit the samples in his possession to the stipulated procedures.

Early this morning, in direct contravention of the law and professional requirements, and before the Director of CID could respond to his letter, Dr. Sylvester Onzivua attempted to smuggle the samples out of the country. He was arrested at Entebbe Airport, while in possession of the samples.

As a general principle, and in the interests of transparency and professionalism, Police allow representatives of families and other relevant parties to observe, and even seek second opinions, in certain matters under investigation.

This, however, must be done in accordance with the law, while, at all times, observing all the requisite professional procedures that would ensure that the results are credible, and would add value to the Police investigation.

Should a person require extra samples for independent analysis, the procedure demands that such person obtains the samples from GAL, which would oversee the process, document it, and ensure that all scientific fine points are observed.

In this instance, it is not clear what samples were in possession of the third parties, how they were obtained, and the conditions under which they were kept.

Moreover, Dr. Onzivua, who is a civil servant, had not been cleared to travel out of the country, and neither had he obtained the authority required to export the samples out of the country.

Dr. Onzivua is at the moment in custody of the Police, to assist in the determining why he violated the laid down procedures and regulations.

Any person found to have contravened the law shall be dealt with accordingly.

Judith Nabakooba

Police Spokesperson

Uganda Police Force


30 thoughts on “Nebanda Family Pathologist Arrested, Blocked From Travelling

  1. The police explanation is plausible….i think Dr Onzivua flouted the laid down procedures for flying out tissue samples. Remember this a possible homicide and the evidence gathered must be admissible in a court of law

    1. when the police blocks private investigations we will not be surprised when the public doubts the outcome of the postmortem. when the body is handed over to the family….the family could opt to restart the entire process; only to be sure! The issue here is that NEbanda was not in the regime’s best books and her death is extra judicial

      1. Even private investigators have to abide by the law of the land. You need a special clearance to bring in human tissue to a country. In Australia it can land you 20 years in prison.

        Africans let us do things conventionally. John

        1. That is the police side of the story. Dr. Baryomunsi has given a different side. They agreed in a meeting with that the body parts be flown out for independent verification. I wonder how many Ugandans would trust the police’s word over Dr. Baryomunsi’s word.

          I and lots of Ugandans are suspicious of the government in this matter and won’t trust the results of their tests. They are the same ones who came out with the nonsense of drugs and alcohol, even before any lab tests were done, only later to discover Cerina never drunk alcohol at all.

      2. when i read Nabakoba`s report and watched discussion in the parliament, i was surprised by the way how our legislators argue out things. They make laws and break them. If legislators had representatives in the meeting held in Mulago and reached harmonious conclusion, why go a head and break it?

        The issue here is not politics but the life of our very own Nebanda. Also the media should take charge of publishing conclusive and evident articles. I pray that whoever is conducting the investigation do it as quick as possible so that this also come to pass. May her soul rest in peace.

        Mr. Kaskd, let us not reach conclusion very soon, whether she was not in government best books or not, we are interested in the truth not imaginations. Have you ever heard that politics is a dirty game? don’t involve such investigations with politics so that we can receive clean and clear results.

  2. shocking, why fear the outcome of the family’s own investigation?. They hve their rigts to do so besides interest was shown to police in writing. I hope the Mulago one will give us something!!!.

  3. U are just making the public more suspicious and besides who doesnt know that few if any at all still have any trust in state institutions. When the President goes in open denial, Dad says some jounalists approached him asking for permission to run story saying she died of just a ‘mere’ heart failure and now this arrest what should people think.
    You have just fed the conspiracy theorists with a new angle.

  4. It was actually better to have Dr. Onzima fly out an also come up with his own findings. Remember he was doing this on behalf of pearliament who contracted him. It would also clear the waves in the air if the GAL and Onzima findings outside the country came up with the same answer thus rendering the GAL a trust worthy body in the country. The president mentioned that the Mayombo report was shared with his family. Please for Nabanda share the report with the citizens who have missed her like the way the police and the president have gone to the media and assured people that they do anything possible. Lastly the management of Munyonyo would be in cells until investigations are over. Now the people whom they have put in are victims because of their proffesion and telling you the truth , MANY MINISTERS, MPS ARE ETC ARE GOING TO DIE BECAUSE no medical person is going to rush to save their lives then after you are arrested. Watch the future! More so if the sickness is related to the one of this mafias( not my language but for Bukenya)

  5. Its bad Nebanda is gone but politicians must be extremely careful with what they put in their stomach. This business from eating any where must stop otherwise you have many enemies and they will finish you one by one.

  6. Uganda has lost many people a case in pont our beloved the late Mayombo, every person wished to know what Killed a person whom we all thought would be our next president. but for sure the public has never been told anything about the death that killed our officer.

  7. Please, let us try to see a point in the explanation by the police on the arrest of this pathetic pathologist, who might have seen benefits in rushing with ilegalalities and forgot that he might even compromise his practicing licence!! People, let us avoid making mistakes when we have lost a young woman like Celinah!! She has been known as a sympathiser of the rebel group of MPs, as well as a member, but there is no doubt that, she was selfless, very emphatic, in her activities, but this would and should not make us create loopholes in the entire investigations by blaming government which might make the killers for whatever reasons go free!!!

  8. well, now CN not for funeral on Thursday. Lets get the private investigations going with no interference

  9. NAMANYA,you seam to be out of reality if not your mind.How many reports that followed the so called normal procedures have been made public? Cant you see the smoke? are you bind? Please fellow Ugandans, it is time to wake up and demand accountability from our leaders.

  10. NAMANYA,you seem to be out of reality if not your mind.How many reports that followed the so called normal procedures have been made public? Cant you see the smoke? are you bind? Please fellow Ugandans, it is time to wake up and demand accountability from our leaders.

  11. Fellow Ugandans. Let’s love one another.Let’s do what is right at all times, knowing that… true judgement awaits all of us in due time. Amen

  12. Let CERINAH rest in peace there is nothing good expected after her death.All the confusion happening even the deaf,blind & even babies can tell what is going on.Why is the government suspicious of an independent investigation into the cause of CERINAH’s Death?
    It is shame shame shame to whoever did it,the entire publicor the country at large have concluded their analysis.Lets just now burry our beloved one and Pray to the Almighty to forgive her her sins & also award judgement to the perpetrators of her death.Amen

  13. The police are just taking us for a ride, since when has it been an offence to conduct private investigations paralel to what the police is doing? Unless ofcourse the police fears that the results will be different from their own. But even so, is it not for the court to chose between two contradicting reports which one has more integrity than the other? The police is merely fearing its own shadow. As long as Dr. Onzivua did not interfere with the samples taken to the GAL, he has committed no wrong at all. Let GAL go ahead and conduct their own tests and feed us on their usual lies but we are entitled to compare their findings to our own private findings and no one has the right to stop us, unless ofcourse they are hiding something.

  14. How are we sure that GAL can not temper with the samples since it is under government control. i think the family was not sure of their safety under GAL.

  15. I wish we could burry our sister in peace. Her spirit is still on earth and seeing everything that is taking place. Just wait after burrial, they will surely pay. Whoever mixed that drink at Munyonyo is gonna fall flat on his face. By the way, so far no arrests at Munyonyo?? doesn’t that raise eyebrows????!!!!!! RIP Sweetie Cerinah.

  16. our dear politicians who go to Munyonyo take care,up to now the waitress who served her the carterer that day have not been interogated at all.mutusasire era mulekere awo okutulimba some things are just to obvious for even my little gal to for ssekaddi i have no words,at such sensitive times if you have nothing to say ts beta u kip quiet.

  17. Getting new samples and carring out new investigation will be of great importance to get to the truth. But technically the body has already been legally contaminated because sometimes one of the compounds used in embalming is cyanide. An extremely toxic compound. Even other embalming fluid are toxic and yet MPs want the second samples to be taken from this same body. I personally think that if the person(s) who killed this young MP are ever caught, the presiding judge will throw out the case best on evidence technicality issues.all because the parties involved (police & parliament investigator) did not think using their brains but their mouths. Everyone now wants to score points. This is one of the reasons why the rest of the world refers to us as Third world.

  18. All of us including our sis judith know very well that GAL,police etc are not equipped to carry out any meaningful forensic investigations because they lack the necessary up to date apparatus and their so called experts are half baked.that is why they are moving those organs from place to place and truthfully it doesn’t take a genious to figure out that they do not understand what they are doing.then why block people from accessing sound services

  19. I squarely concur with waswa, i think these police investigators are afraid of their naivity being exposed in or the investigation was designed to fail from the start.mean while pray for dr.onz such that he does not die in an accident or something for he knows alot

  20. wasswa nawe scor points for what?at times it better you kip quiet if u have nothing to say.som e comments are disturbing

  21. You have to pity a country with a government that cannot do a thing without help. Samples have to be taken to UK or South Africa! After 50 years of independence and about 30 of those years were for fundamental change, technology and industrialization! What a fuss it has been then with the promises!

  22. After years of getting insane returns on the few bugs invested in small business ventures and masterfully picking up on what a person really needs to hear in order to Step UP she surrendered to her calling to move men and women who choose to express their essence with a business and choose to become financially free, escaping from the rat-race game and going into the fast track.

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