Uganda: Amidst Supporters’ Fears of Poisoning, Dr. Nyanzi, Opponent of Gen. Museveni, Back In Hospital

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Dr. Stella Nyanzi, the fearless scholar and foe of dictatorship in Uganda. Photo: Facebook. 
 
Stella Nyanzi, one of Africa’s leading feminist scholars and foe of the Ugandan life-president Gen. Yoweri Museveni has again been hospitalized in an undisclosed facility in Kampala, the capital.
 
Dr. Nyanzi, who has denounced both dictator Museveni and his wife Janet Museveni, often in unvarnished language, was released after 18 months imprisonment in February. She had served a politically-motivated conviction on charges that she had “annoyed” the increasingly erratic dictator who has ruled for 34 years, since seizing power in 1986.
 
Dr. Nyanzi was briefly released from Mmengo Hospital after undergoing a battery of tests last week. When her condition worsened after she returned home, she was again rushed to another facility.
 
Even though Dr. Nyanzi hasn’t explicitly said she believes she’s a victim of poisoning, many of her supporters have been reading between the lines of the comments she’s made, including on a video posted on Youtube and WhatsApp last week.
 
When contacted by this media outlet after she was briefly released from Mmengo hospital, then when she rushed to another facility, Dr. Nyanzi said: “I am very ill, but I am under the care of the best nephrologist in the world. He has phlebotomists, radiographers, renal pathologists, toxicologists, nurses and the Gods and Goddesses know what relevant experts.” 
 
She noted her weak condition and added, “My family and friends are carrying me in their arms like one carries a defenseless baby.”
 
Dr. Nyanzi’s health declined sharply soon after a recent feature report in The New York Times in which she said she wouldn't back off in resisting the dictatorship. The regime has recently unleashed vicious attacks against civilians by militias called Local Defense Units (LDUs) ostensibly against people who violate the covid-19 stay-at-home decree by the dictator. Even elderly women vendors trying to earn a meager living and fend off starvation, have been bloodied. Opponents believe the LDUs are rehearsing for next year's presidential election, during which period it's anticipated they will be used to brutalize supporters of opposition parties. 
 
Dr. Nyanzi’s supporters believe she may have been poisoned on orders of the Ugandan dictator. They draw comparisons to the fate of another brave woman, a 24-year-old legislator named Cerinah Nebanda who, after denouncing the regime’s rampant corruption on the floors of Parliament in 2014, died soon thereafter.
 
When Nebanda’s supporters tried to take some tissue samples to South Africa for independent toxicological examination, Gen. Museveni’s military dragged her parliamentary colleague off the plane, arrested him, and confiscated the specimen. The regime then claimed she’d suffered a “drug overdose.”
 
Dr. Nyanzi, a scholar who was once at Uganda’s top university, Makerere, has been unemployable since academic institutions in the country fear the wrath of the dictator and his wife, who doubles as the minister of education, a position for which she is profoundly unqualified.
 
Dr. Nyanzi’s family members and friends had to pool their resources to pay for her medical care last week.  
 
Once a master at public relations, Western media houses that used to fawn over the dictator have become more critical since a Chinese national named Patrick Ho Chi Ping was convicted in a U.S. federal trial in 2018 of bribing Museveni and his foreign minister Sam Kutesa $1 million which the two split, for an illegal oil concession on behalf of CEFC China. Ho, who used a New York bank to wire some of the bribe money, is serving a three year sentence in the U.S.
 
 

 

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