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CAUSE OF DEATH REVEALED: Here’s What Exactly Killed Keith Muhakanizi

Keith Muhakanizi
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Keith Muhakanizi, the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury, succumbed to a cancer that could have begun from his childhood, the late PS’ friend told mourners attending the official funeral of the fallen economist at Kololo Independence Grounds in Kampala at the weekend.

Prof William Bazeyo, a former deputy vice chancellor for finance and administration at Makerere University, spoke on behalf of Muhakanizi’s friends. The two met at Ntare School in Western Uganda’s Mbarara (the school that Uganda’s president Gen Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni also went to).

According to Prof Bazeyo, Muhakanizi’s sickness became a matter of concern in 2018 Keith had a strange illness that he didn’t understand. Bazeyo revealed that Muhakanizi had had a swelling near the neck occasioned by a childhood health condition known as ente y’abaana in Runyankore.

He was later diagnosed with Lymphoma. At diagnosis time, the cancer was already in the bones. The economist would start on checkups and treatment at hospitals such as Aga Khan in Nairobi Kenya, Turkey and Italy.

“Every time they treated him he would improve but not recover,” noted Bazeyo.

He also revealed that the former permanent secretary also suffered Covid19 and was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for three weeks. “He was very resilient.”

Sometime in 2021, Muhakanizi would undergo bone marrow transplant (stem cell transplant) in Turkey. After this transplant, the economist would go for checkups every three months. During one of such checkups, doctors would discover cancer cells in the marrow. Aga Khan Hospital would refer Muhakanizi to either Milan or Seattle for specialized treatment.

In January 2023, he asked for permission to go for treatment in Milan. There he underwent cart cell treatment. According to the National Cancer Institute, cart cell therapy is a type of treatment in which a patient’s T cells (a type of immune cell) are changed in the laboratory so they will bind to cancer cells and kill them.

Muhakanizi was informed that the therapy had a 40 per cent recovery and success chance. He said he would rather face the complications than die of cancer.

But 10 days later, his lungs accumulated fluid, followed by kidney and liver failure. He also developed cells that fought his normal cells, weakening his immunity.

He would later pass on ‘peacefully’ due to acute organ failure in April 2023.

The former Permanent Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) was laid to rest in Lyantonde on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Meanwhile, a top Museveni government official has revealed that Muhakanizi had quarreled with senior ministers and warned them against ‘stealing’ Karamoja iron sheets (mabaati), clearly warning the ministers that the iron sheets would land them into trouble and that they should carry their cross. (See Details Here).

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