Parliament on Friday resolved to pay tribute to the late Butaleja woman Member of Parliament Cerinah Nebanda, who died under unclear circumstances seven days ago. The tribute followed five recommendations made by Sam Lyomoki, the Workers MP, on behalf of the three legislators who were involved in the initial investigations into death of the 24 year old vocal MP.
The tribute followed five recommendations made by Sam Lyomoki, the Workers MP, on behalf of the three legislators who were involved in the initial investigations into death of the 24 year old vocal MP.
Lyomoki together with Mbarara Municipality MP Medard Bitekyerezo and Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the MP for Kinkiizi East, on Saturday joined a team of pathologists who examined Nebanda’s body. But police later issued summons against them in relation to the death of their colleague and accused them of acting irregularly and in a suspicious manner.
The report relayed to Parliament today consisted of events that have been transpiring since the team was given a go ahead to assist in the investigations until yesterday when the MPs spent the night in Parliament to avoid arrest by Police.
Lyomoki told Parliament that the police have not been interested in the option of independent analysis of samples that Parliament and the family wanted. He stressed that the government machinery was instead vigilant in curtailing independent assessment and professional assistance as opposed to pursuing and apprehending the culprits.
The MPs have once again reiterated their intention to withdraw from the ongoing investigations by police. Lyomoki on behalf of the MPs recommended that no further postmortem or examinational extractions be done on the body, and that Parliament pays tribute to Nebanda and burial arrangements continue.
They concluded that harassment of MPs and Dr Sylvester Onzivua, the Mulago pathologist who was arrested while on his way to South Africa with Nebanda’s body samples, should stop and that government should respect and promote professionalism in this country.
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The Minister for Internal Affairs Hillary Onek was at this point supposed to respond to the statement but it was shot down by MPs who demanded that they debate it first.
Rubaga South MP Ken Lukyamuzi and Barnabas Tinkasimire for Buyaga West raised a procedural matter stating that the report was representative of the Members of Parliament present.
However, Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi said Minister Onek’s statement would be an act of fairness for the family members. Mbabazi said he is a member of the house and distanced himself from the report saying it doesn’t represent the house amidst shouts by other members until he sat down.
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Emmanuel Dombo, the Bunyole East MP, who is also chairperson of the burial committee, noted that the manner in which the investigations were conducted left a lot to be desired. He revealed that he had consulted some lawyers to file a constitutional petition to decide in the future that a family has the right to find out what has happened to their next of kin other than depending on government results.
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Attorney General Peter Nyombi described Lyomoki’s report as one with clear falsehoods to the dismay of most members. He insisted that Minister Onek be allowed to read his statement. However, Onek ended up not reading his statement.
Jacob Oulanyah concluded and ruled that the report, which he said contained facts and recommendations, be adopted. He passed the motion with overwhelming support from MPs and allowed Parliament to commence paying tribute to the fallen MP.