Police attempts to relocate the sick Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Mr Francis Zaake, from Lubaga Hospital to Mulago failed yesterday after hospital authorities reportedly refused to hand him over.
Plain-clothed and uniformed security personnel had taken strategic positions with two police ambulances seen at two gates of the Lubaga hospital ahead of the arrival of the Director of Criminal Investigations, Ms Grace Akullo.
Ms Akullo arrived at the main hospital administration block and was immediately ushered straight into the office of the executive director, Dr Andrew Ssekitoleeko, where they had intensive discussions that lasted more than two hours.
Details from the meeting remained scanty yesterday but police sources, who did not want to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Ms Akullo had come to enforce a police directive contained in an August 26 letter to Lubaga hospital that Mr Zaake be transferred to Mulago referral hospital for examination by ‘specialists’ after allegations that he was assaulted during arrest.
Police want to charge Mr Zaake with treason and escape from lawful custody, so they want Mulago to undertake tests to ascertain whether he is fit for prosecution according to the source.
Police spokesperson Emilian Kayima told Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday that they want the MP to be taken to Mulago to be examined by experts.
“The letter was written and the intention is simply to subject him to a team of medical experts as investigations into the matters where he is involved are concerned,” Mr Kayima said.
Dr Ssekitooleko, however, reportedly told Ms Akullo in yesterday’s meeting that what is urgent now is to take Mr Zaake abroad for treatment because the neurologist who undertook the tests was an expert from Mulago and that his health keeps deteriorating.
Under such circumstances, Dr. Ssekitoleeko reportedly said Mr Zaake’s family had already secured flight tickets to India for specialised treatment.
But other sources indicated that it was agreed that Mr Zaake is taken at night to minimise pandemonium.
After the meeting, Ms Akullo told Daily Monitor that issues related to her meeting with the hospital bosses could only be discussed with the hospital authorities. “Contact them for full details,” Ms Akullo said.
When contacted by telephone, Dr. Ssekitoleeko said: “l am sorry I can’t give you a story, issues discussed are confidential.”
But earlier on in the morning, he told Daily Monitor by telephone that the hospital recommended a referral abroad.
“He was to move abroad but the ministry of Health recommended that we transfer him to Mulago and that is the instruction I have,” Dr Ssekitoleeko said.
Earlier, a team of Kampala City Traders Association leaders headed by their chair, Ernest Kayondo in the company of their spokesperson, Isa Ssekito had told the press that the Mr Zaake’s father had already paid for the necessary expenses for his son.
“We have seen Indian Visas and air tickets and Mr Zaake is due to be flow out on Wednesday (today). Government should not take lead to break the law by beating up people and leaving them to die from a hospital where a referral has been recommended. We demand an apology,” Mr Kayondo said.
Former Leader of Opposition in Parliament Winnie Kiiza conveyed a message from Kyandondo East MP Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, and Mr Zaake that the duo requested the nation to remain one and focused to liberate the nation.
Meanwhile, the medical board has received a request from doctors treating MP Zaake for referral abroad.
“The medical board is currently handling the request,” Mr Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the senior Health ministry spokesperson, said.
Mr Zaake and Bobi Wine suffered brutality on August 13 in the violence that marred the last day of Arua municipality by-election where Mr Kassiano Wadri emerged winner.
Thirty two other people including MPs were detained and face treason for stoning the president’s car.