Information minister Dr Chris Baryomunsi has revealed that Jacob Oulanyah, the former speaker of the 11th Parliament, succumbed to cancer, and had not been poisoned.
On March 20, President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni announced that Speaker Oulanyah has died. (Read Story Here).
A few days later, the late speaker’s father Nathan Okori said his son Oulanyah was poisoned. (Read Story Here).
Even the Paramount Chief of Acholi, where Oulanyah comes from, claimed the speaker could have been poisoned and demanded answers from government.
The Acholi Paramount Chief wondered why all powerful politicians from the region die after being elevated to higher positions. (Read Story Here).
But speaking to mourners at the late Oulanyah’s home in Muyenga in Kampala, minister Dr Baryomunsi ruled out poisoning as cause of death.
“He has been battling cancer. The other day I told the media that with my medical knowledge and background, I can confirm to the public that there is no issue of poisoning in the case of Jacob Oulanyah,” said Baryomunsi.
“What he has died of are natural causes which we shall explain when a medical report is put and we shall explain to the mourners.”
Appearing on NBS TV Frontline show, Baryomunsi repeated: “He [Oulanyah] had cancer, that’s what killed him.”
He also said there was nothing wrong with referrals.
“To be referred from one level to another is okay. So, you should not complain why someone has been referred,” he told mourners at Muyenga.
He emphasized this point during the Frontline Show on Thursday night, noting that referrals do not mean that the system at home has failed.
“There is nothing wrong with flying a patient from Mulago to the US. If you are to check, there are patients transferred from Europe to the US,” he explained.
“The centre for the new technology that fights cancer is in Seattle. It doesn’t mean that the system we have here is a failed one. The referral was okay and intended so that he gets the best treatment, but it was not possible.”
He also dismissed reports that Oulanyah was poisoned because he had become speaker.
“People want to link the Speakership race to his death. I am saying he was sick even before. Jacob had been in and out of hospital even before the elections. Details of his health will come out in the postmortem report,” Baryomunsi said.