By Nkonge I Kaggwa in Kampala
The widow of Gen Joseph Aronda Nyakairima who died suddenly while returning from an official visit to South Korea has disputed a government post mortem report that suggested her husband had died as a result of suffering a heart attack because of his obesity.
Addressing the nation in Kampala during a public function to honour her husband, Linda Nyakairima told hundreds of thousands of mourners that her children can bear witness that their father had never suffered any illness during the whole time they knew him. Married to Gen Aronda for 20 years, Mrs Nyakairima said: “This heart problem they [the government] are talking about, true it might have been there, but for the 20 years I have lived with my husband, I have never seen him sick.”
She went on to say for her it was the first time to hear that her husband had any problem with his heart. “My Children are witnesses,” she lamented. “We have never seen him fail to get out of bed to go and work.” The general’s widow made her comments in front of Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and senior government officials many of whom played a role in hastily carrying out a post mortem examination that Mrs Nyakairima is not alone in disputing.
Her assertions were quite contrary to what President Museveni told mourners that the life of the late general, who was also the country’s Minister of Internal Affairs, could have been saved had he received regular health checks. “I’m annoyed. Aronda died from a condition which was either detected or not but was not addressed thoroughly,” Museveni told mourners. “If there had been proper check-ups, and had the South Koreans health experts helped him, he probably wouldn’t have died,” he asserted.