President Yoweri Museveni has blamed the Republic of South Korea for refusing to treat his Internal Affairs minister, Gen Aronda Nyakairima, leaving him to die on the way to Dubai.
While addressing mourners who gathered at Kololo airstrip on Friday, Museveni said South Korea refused to treat Aronda because he had no medical insurance there.
“South Koreans erred in demanding for health insurance instead of treating Aronda first,” Museveni pointed out.
“They said someone without insurance in South Korea cannot access medical support without an insurance.”
He added: “That is nonsense…that’s not sensible.”
Museveni said if there was proper check-up, he [Aronda] would have survived with better medical attention.
The president said he was also not happy with the medical services of the army.
“Why should we live badly and qualify to go to heaven prematurely. The medical personnel need to up their work ethic.”
Because South Korea refused to treat him, Aronda had no option but to board the plane after two nights of complaining of stomach complications.
He was found dead by an air hostess on landing at Dubai airport in United Arab Emirates.
The autopsy report says he died of acute heart failure.
However today, Aronda’s widow, Linda said for 19 years, she never heard that her husband had a heart condition.
Museveni said he was annoyed because Aronda died from a condition that either wasn’t detected or if detected wasn’t addressed properly.
He said Aronda was one of the disciplined NRA soldiers who never got AIDS.
Museveni said he has managed to obtain medical reports that indicate that Aronda had “mild hypertension for many years”.
“Aronda complained of stomach pains for two days in South Korea. He complained of feeling dizzy before boarding the plane.”
“When they opened Aronda’s body they detected that he had previous heart attacks before. This one was the big one.”
Museveni pays Aronda tribute
Museveni paid the late army commander a glowing tribute Aronda and some of the disciplined men are the survivors from the bush war.
Museveni said Aronda absorbed NRA work ethics and methods of NRA that is why he kept on promoting him.
“It’s a pity that Aronda died at 56. It is a pity that he died from something that could have been detected earlier.”
He said Aronda has left a widow and children who are teenagers and “we shall support them as we normally support our people”.
Museveni said the UPDF has fought alot of wars for the last 45 years and has lost many officers; but their memories will never fade away.
“The NRA has fought many wars and we have lost many officers but the memories of their contribution will never go away.”
“We as fighters sacrifice our lives for our country. If we’re not in war, we have to look after ourselves, to serve longer.”
He gave an example of a colleague called Magereza who, when Lord’s Resistance Army [LRA] rebels led by Joseph Kony attacked his group, fought them back to retain their weaponry.
“May the Almighty Lord rest the soul of Gen. Aronda in eternal peace,” Museveni concluded.