Police arrest doctor for smuggling Nebanda's samples

19th, December 2012

Allegations that a pathologist Dr. Sylvester Onzivua was plotting to smuggle deceased MP Nebanda’s body parts abroad shocked many. This is so because earlier, police said as the lead investigators into the MP’s death, they were working jointly with parliament, other government bodies and the MP’s family.

In a statement, police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba indicated that Dr. Sylvester Onzivua was arrested at Entebbe International Airport as he reportedly tried to leave the country with samples from the deceased MP’s body.

Nabakooba explained that all samples were supposed to be handled by the Government Analytical Laboratory but Dr. Onzivua, a civil servant did not seek permission from his seniors to fly out, and neither had he sought for permission to take the samples abroad. The doctor is now detained at an undisclosed facility in Kampala.

Chaos erupted at MP Nebanda’s requiem mass at Christ the King church after Dr. Chris Baryomunsi announced the arrest of the pathologist earlier in the morning as he tried to board a plane to South Africa. A commissioner of Parliament, Dr. Baryomunsi, represents Parliament on the probe team.

Parliament and the MP’s family agreed on Sunday to fly her body samples to South Africa for further tests to establish what killed the 24-year old MP.
Cerina Nebanda spent less than two years in the August House but had amassed more media coverage than many long serving MPs, largely for taking independent positions, often contrary to her NRM party’s official line.

Many mourners at Christ the King Church felt that government may have a hand in her death but First Lady Janet Museveni moved to dispel such allegations, describing them as cheap talk.

The bereaved was saddened by police reports immediately after the MP Nebanda’s death on Friday evening that she succumbed to alcohol and drug overdose. The media later picked up that report.

Parliament later held a special session in MP Cerinah Nebanda’s honour. She will be laid to rest on Thursday, at her ancestral home in Butaleja village, Butaleja District.