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Poison Controversy Rages On in Uganda

A poison threat, which targeted four opposition members of Uganda’s parliament, is generating a controversy. A worker at the cafeteria in parliament was alleged to have been involved in a plot to poison the four parliamentarians. However, sources said the worker had a change of heart and reported the plot to one of the targeted persons. Some Ugandans are raising questions about the controversial plot, denying there was a scheme in the first place. Meanwhile, opponents blame President Yoweri Museveni’s government for not doing enough to arrest the alleged perpetrators.

Ben Wacha is a former member of Uganda’s parliament and a survivor of the poison threat. From the capital, Kampala he confirmed to the Voice of America that the poison threat was real.

“There was a poison threat against four of us members of parliament. I think there was a deliberate plan to get a worker of the canteen to poison us. The worker felt the move was not correct, and reported to me, who was then a commissioner of the canteen. I took the matter to the speaker, the matter was reported to the police and I think eventually, it was reported to the minister for internal affairs. It was true, there was that threat,” Wacha pointed out.

He said the targeted members of parliament did not get any feedback from authorities after they reported the threat.

“No, we never got to know anything else, after our complaint. I think the threat was abandoned,” he said.

Wacha said the MPs could not turn to the government because they were apprehensive that the government itself might be involved in the alleged threat.

“The problem was we didn’t know whether the people involved were involved with the government or they were doing things on their own behalf. So we took our own precaution,” he said.

Wacha said they tried to ascertain who the perpetrators of the alleged threat were.

“In our own way we tried to find out who was behind this move because fortunately, we had the car numbers and we used our friends who were then connected to the security agencies and the report was that it was possible they could have been from a new security agency to handle this particular matter because the security agency then denied the existence of those individuals in their own security agency,” he noted.

Wacha said although he has no grievances about the way the aftermath of the alleged plot was handled, he and his colleagues have taken the necessary precautions to protect themselves.

“I know as an opposition member of parliament, that chances are that there must be people who don’t agree with you. Except for me, all those other three were once very close members of the government, and I’m sure that there must have been a problem, them moving away from government and joining the opposition. So I protect myself and I’m sure they will also protect themselves,” he said.