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Archbishop Lwanga's doctors must explain his death - Museveni

Museveni lays a wreath on Archbishop Cyprian Kizito's casket

Museveni lays a wreath on Archbishop Cyprian Kizito's casket

President Yoweri Museveni has said doctors the personal doctors of the late Archbishop of Kampala Cyprian Kizito Lwanga must explain why they failed to manage his heart condition which eventually led to his death.

Yesterday Monday, the interim archdiocesan administrator Msgr. Charles Kasibante and the archdiocesan health coordinator Dr Andrew Ssekitoleko said that Lwanga succumbed to ischemic heart disease.

Reading a jointly signed document, Dr Ssekitoleko explained that the post-mortem was conducted by a team of senior pathologists in presence of two family representatives and two physicians delegated by the church adding that at the end of the exercise, it was established that the archbishop had a heart attack due to a blood clot in the heart vessels.

However speaking at Kololo Independence Grounds today, Museveni said that it is difficult to understand how Lwanga could die of a condition that was well-known for long by his doctors. Museveni said he consulted his personal doctor, Diana Atwine who told him Lwanga's condition could have been managed better. 

"Because really, although you’re saying God has called us and all that, really I want our people of value to stay here as long as possible. So his doctors, apparently, they were managing him for a long time, they should explain at some stage that condition because I asked my young doctor, Atwine that condition, how do you detect it? There is what they call the ECG [electrocardiogram machine] where the machines detect the electrical activities of the heart. But apparently, it may not see well the other one where the fats along the vessels. That there is another test called eco-something something that that is the one that can do that. Then I said if that is the case why would you not do it at some stage. So these doctors need to clarify," Museveni said. 

Museveni hailed Lwanga and other clergy for the support they rendered during his liberation war that brought his government to power in 1986. Museveni says Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala and Lwanga were sympathisers to his NRA rebels who allowed his rebels to access food from their plantations. 

Museveni also said the state will from now on give official burial ceremonies to all religious leaders at the level of archbishop irrespective of who they are, especially when they are from the mainstream or traditional religious institutions. He said archbishops belong in the same category as political and traditional doctors. 

Museveni also hailed Lwanga for being a development minded person. He cited the Twekembe Microfinance in Luweero, which is one of the largest and successful microfinance organizations in Uganda. He hailed this as a move in the right direction by the religious leaders who previously taught to rely on God’s mercy for survival, instead of teaching them to multiply the little that they have.

"When he became bishop of Kasana-Luweero, one of the things I came to appreciate called Twekembe which he started with his salary and it is now a big microfinance involving many people. I was really very happy with that because that was part of the problem with my Christians in the 1960s. Some of them I think had read the bible wrongly," Lwanga said.  

Bishop Joshua Lwere, a member of the Inter-Religious Council of Uganda, who represented the chairman, Sheikh Ramathan Mubajje, said they will miss Dr Lwanga for his bold fight for justice and his advocacy for dialogue, among others. The chairman of the Episcopal Conference Joseph Anthony Zziwa welcomed the decision by the president to accord the fallen cleric an official burial.

Lwanga was later honoured with a 17 gun salute. He will be buried on Thursday inside Lubaga Cathedral.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd