The death of the speaker of parliament Jacob Oulanyah left every one shocked in Uganda and across the globe wherever he left a footprint in his services. Oulanyah an Agricultural economist and lawyer who even owned a law firm of Oulanya, Mao and Company advocates has been described as a man of integrity but above all some one who welcomed every one.
When his death was confirmed by the president, questions started and continue lingering on what killed the lion of Omollo. The first person to deny possible natural causes is his father Nathan Okori who claimed his son was poisoned and had told him about it and he suspected some two people who might have done it.
“I know all of you who have come here are mourners. His (Oulanyah’s) death is not easy news to welcome because i know he did not die of natural causes, he was poisoned” Mr. Okori told a handful of mourners at their ancestral home in Omoro District as quoted by the Daily Monitor
Government insists Ugandans should wait for the postmortem report and avoid speculations as it has been hinted that he was battling colon cancer. The minister for ICT and National Guidance Dr. Chris Baryomunsi while addressing the media at the Uganda Media centre urged Ugandans to wait for the postmortem report.
“Ignore that information (positioning claims). The post-mortem report will be released and the government will give out a statement.”-said Baryomunsi.
However, in this article we are recalling the day when the Observer reported that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had instituted a probe into Speaker Jacob Oulanyah’s poisoning following a sudden slump in his health immediately after assuming officer of speakership.
According to the Observer, Oulanyah’s health problem started with Stomach complications, the vomiting before he got breathing problems. When he went to the UK on June 22 for medical check ups, the medical findings turned out inconclusive. As he was waiting for a full toxicology report to see if some thing was planted in his food or drink, the president got concerned and instituted his own investigation into possible poisoning
According to sources privy to the matter indicated that the team which was instituted to investigate the matter included specialists from police counter terrorism unit, Special Forces Command (SFC) and Internal Security Organization (ISO) and was tasked to analyze CCTV footage at parliament and every place Oulanyah visited between June 19 and June 22 for possible leads on who did it.
The team instituted by the president reportedly interrogated some relatives, friends and MPs but didn’t get any solid information regarding the same. Oulanyah would later quietly return to the country on July 22 and for days avoided public engagements to rest and recover.
It is a norm that many officials at parliament carry their own food and drinks for fear of being poisoned. Oulanyah took over office from Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga who had a grip of parliamentary leadership for 20 years, first as Deputy speaker under Edward Kiwanuka Ssekandi and as full speaker from 2011 to 2011. It’s said Oulanyah together with his deputy Anita Among came with a lot of plans to change the status quo and it’s believed this might have rubbed certain people the wrong way.
There was a sense of hope when speaker Jacob Oulanyah got back to his feet and was seen on key functions like the burial of former police deputy chief Maj Gen Paul Lokech, a thanks giving duwa of Hon Baroda Kayanga a daughter to fallen legislator Rehema Watongola in Kamuli municipality from where he headed to Gulu for the consecration of the Northern Uganda bishop Rt Rev Geoffrey Loum which took place at St Phillip’s Cathedral in Gulu.
However, Oulanyah was last seen in the days preceding to last year’s Christmas cerebrations. Rumors started making rounds that he was sick in the second week of January 2022 and would later be airlifted to the US aboard a chartered Uganda airlines airbus. The lion of Omollo was admitted in Seattle in Washington and it became a journey of no return on Sunday 20th when the president confirmed he had rested.
Reports of positioning key government officers and non-government officers have been around for quite some and several government officials have died under unclear circumstances but with poisoning pegged to their death. Even the former speaker Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga was rushed to Nairobi after collapsing and it was reported it was due to fatigue- related illnesses but could later be said (though not confirmed) that she had possibly been poisoned.
In 14 December 2012, Butaleja district women representative Cerina Nebanda died suddenly and her death was tagged to poisoning though postmortem reports linked it to drug abuse. On September 12th 2015, the then minister for internal affairs died at the age of 56 years reportedly due to cardiac arrest on transit from South Korea in Dubai but his death too was tagged to poisoning though government never confirmed that. Many other key officials have died under unclear circumstances and many times their deaths are always pegged to poisoning.
Additional Reporting: The Observer
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