MPs live in fear of being poisoned at Parliament

The fear of being poisoned amongst politicians and technical staff at Parliament may appear like a myth but to some it’s a reality and cannot just be washed away.

Two MPs have confessed to Nile Post that they survived poison at the House and were only saved by God.

The MPs said that it’s unfortunate that there are people with a belief that political differences can only be solved by elimination through giving poison.

The issue of poison in the political sphere was reignited following claims by Nathan Okori that his son the late Speaker Jacob Oulanyah was poisoned.

His claim was also supported by the Vice Chairperson for NRM in Buganda Godfrey Kiwanda Ssubi.

Yet it is not the first time politicians are claiming to have been targets of poison.

Kira Municipality Legislator Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda told us that in 2004, Ben Wacha, the then MP for Oryam South, claimed that an attempt had been made to poison him, Jack Sabiiti and Gen Mugisha Muntu, at the parliamentary canteen.

Ssemujju said Wacha claimed a flask containing poisoned tea had already been served to Gen. Muntu and Jack Sabiiti but they only survived after being alerted by a waitress.

On May 4, 2018 during a plenary sitting the former state minister for Primary Health Care Dr. Joyce Moriku Kaducu advised legislators to take precaution saying her six-months long illness in Nairobi was a result of poison.

"As a piece of advice to members, let’s take care of ourselves. Know what you eat, where you eat and with who you eat. Yes, it is true the situation began with food poisoning but later indeed foreign elements were found in my body," Kaducu said.

"All the tests that were done from the different hospitals didn’t come with any natural cause of the illness."

Kaducu’s submission followed remarks by Dokolo Woman legislator Cecilia Ogwal who expressed worry about the increasing fear of poisoning of legislators. She too advised fellow legislators to be cautious.

In the 9th Parliament, it was reported that former Speaker Rebecca Kadaga survived powder poison that had been put in an envelope.

According to some legislators, the poison scare has led some politicians to evade taking Holy Communion in church in addition to using separate microphones at public functions.

However, commissioner of Parliament Solomon Silwany, dismissed all these claims saying parliament is the safest place for legislators to have their meals because there are mechanisms in place to protect them.

Silwany said politicians who have survived poisoning attempts must have been poisoned outside the  precincts of Parliament because it can never happen at parliament.

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