1/8 I have seen several unsurprising comments regarding the death of Hon Nebanda. Very typical of what we are! But just a few comments. Of course other deaths have been brought into the picture but the one I am more interested in here is Noble Mayombo’s and the parallels it bears with Hon Nebanda’s and how the two deaths are as similar as they are sensitive. My view of the sensitivity of these deaths may not be the same as ‘sensitivity’ in the general perception of the Ugandan who is wont to recite what has become our trademark chorus: ‘Museveni has done it. Again!’
2/8 But let me say this: I do not think that the loudness of that asinine chorus would ever compel YK Museveni to, for example in the case of Noble Mayombo, feel obligated to pronounce himself openly to some drunken speculator on that soldier’s cause of death, mainly because it is not Museveni’s style to yield even by an inch, to being pushed about that way; but also because there is a lot to uphold in terms of the honour and privacy of the late soldier’s family, let alone his memory. The latter bit is where all the sensitivity that I am referring to lies; and I comment on it very reluctantly.
3/8 Remember that the NRA/UPDF continues to mourn the loss of dozens upon dozens of officers of Mayombo’s stature, or even more, in circumstances similar to Mayombo’s but we never pay attention to those deaths. It is as if our lives depend on speculating drunkenly on a few deaths with the hope that the more we harangue Museveni about them, the more likely it is that he will by some miracle, drop from power, therefore making it possible for us to take over and/or do things that we are unable to do because he is at the helm.
4/8 Now, those who listened carefully to YK Museveni at Mayombo’s funeral may have got a hint on what he (Museveni, and the UPDF) knew about Mayombo’s state of health prior to his death. Someone working in the media could help us and get an excerpt of Museveni’s remarks…
5/8 Now, this is the uncomfortable part, very uncomfortable for me to discuss, but something that we need to have at the back of our minds even as we do what we love most: to indulge in wolokoso. I have been waiting to hear the initial reports of Hon. Nebanda’s autopsy before making any comments and what I have heard is exactly what I was suspecting, especially in light of reports that the deceased person had severe abdominal pain and was vomiting. What has been further revealed is that she had acute pancreatitis. Recall that reports about Mayombo pointed at fulminant pancreatitis. ‘Fulminant’ means, hyperacute, strikes like lightening. In both cases, there has been multiple organ failure, a classical feature of acute pancreatitis. The pancreas is a store of powerful digestive enzymes capable of digesting any biological material and if these leak into the blood system (say as a result of inflammation of that organ) the result is pancreatic self-digestion or auto-degradation and multiple organ failure (MOF). Mayombo succumbed to MOF, so did Nebanda, from preliminary reports. Both rising stars have been eliminated by exactly the same poison, we shall conclude! Sadly, that is how our minds generally work. At heart, we are Ugandans!
6/8 I do not know whether Dr Baryomunsi is being misquoted: he is alleged to have reported that ‘pathologists also found granules of rice’. I do not know what he actually said- whether granules of rice, or ‘rice-like granules’, but either way, one is left wondering about his know-how as a physician, particularly in a country like Uganda, beseiged as it is with the kind of health problems we all know about. What I am certain the pathologists found, upon opening up the abdomen of the deceased were chalk-like granules covering what is called the omentum, some sort of ‘Kavera’ in which the abdominal organs are contained. Those chalk-like granules (Baryomunsi’s rice graules) have actually come to be the tell-tale sign of viral haemorrahgic pancreatitis, particualrly associated with HIV.
7/8 Even with the serious HIV problem the country faces, I do not know how much our doctors have studied in detail the many ways in which the infection presents, particularly when one listens to Dr Baryomunsi. The cocktails of drugs that HIV/AIDS patients depend on are known to cause what is called drug induced pancreatitis or DIP. Instead of going about things the way he is doing, Dr Baryomunsi had better equip himself with facts about those issues. Many members of our elite are going to succumb to such symptomsm but in our primitivity, (in a country where even a 120 yrs old granny cannot just die, has to be bewitched) we shall speculate that they have been poisoned. We have many healthy-looking elites who are being sustained by powerful antiretrovirals and those drugs have a way of rebelling…some will say, on Museveni’s orders! Such individuals are the real explanation for our backwardness.
Lance Corporal (Rtd) Patrick Otto