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Jinja Hospital Director Disowns Postmortem Report in RDC Sakwa's Trial

The main exhibit in the charges of Manslaughter is a postmortem report signed by one Dr Ssenyonjo, indicating that Isanga died as a result of blunt force trauma, a condition routinely involved in cases classified as accidents, as well as in cases of suicide and homicide.
Florence Tugumisirize, the Jinja regional referral hospital director addressing journalists. file photo.
The Director of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital Florence Tugumisirize has told journalists that the postmortem report which confirms that late Charles Isanga died as a result of blunt force trauma was not conducted at their mortuary. 

Isanga, a trader from Lwanda village in Mafubira Sub County, Jinja district died a few days after a scuffle involving him and Jinja Resident District Commissioner Erick Sakwa. The RDC was reportedly enforcing presidential directives to stop the spread of coronavirus disease, when he found Isanga operating a kiosk on March 22. 

According to the directives, the president had banned the operations of all non-food stores, as one of the measures to reduce person-to-person contact. Only essential services were allowed to continue operating during a lockdown which started in March. 

On April 17, almost a month later, reports indicated that Isanga had succumbed to injuries sustained during the fracas. In the aftermath, Sakwa was arrested and charged with manslaughter, robbery and malicious damage.  

The main exhibit in the charges of Manslaughter is a postmortem report signed by one Dr Ssenyonjo, indicating that Isanga died as a result of blunt force trauma, a condition routinely involved in cases classified as accidents, as well as in cases of suicide and homicide. 

But Tugumisirize says that the said Dr Ssenyonjo who signed the report on behalf of the hospital is not their staff and is unknown to them, as the management of Jinja Hospital. “I have been here for close to two months but the said Dr Ssenyonjo has never surfaced on any of our staff lists and the fact that he signed this report on our behalf indicates that its’ fake,” Tugumisirize said.  

She added that the in-charge of Jinja Hospital Mortuary was trapped in Arua after the lockdown and since then, autopsy procedures have been referred to health facilities in the neighbouring districts. She also questions why the postmortem report does not have an official hospital stamp and her signature, as the procedure demands and instead, contains a police stamp. 

Although the postmortem report contains a police stamp, the police spokesperson, Abbey Ngako declined to comment saying that the matter is already before the court.  

For purposes of death certification, Blunt force trauma is sometimes found in cases in which the immediate cause of death is a natural disease process; like infections and organ failure. It can also result from several other scenarios like accidents, blast injuries, being struck by a firm object, Bite wounds and chop injuries.