Tuesday, November 25, 2014

How attempt to kill me with poison failed: Mkono

Musoma Rural MP Nimrod Mkono speaks to

Musoma Rural MP Nimrod Mkono speaks to journalists in his office in Dar es Salaam yesterday: “Poison was meant to destroy my kidneys within 72 hours.” PHOTO | EDWIN MJWAHUZI 

By Henry Mwangonde,The Citizen Correspondent

Dar es Salaam. Musoma Rural legislator Nimrod Mkono (CCM) yesterday spoke out publicly on the reported attempt on his life, saying quick action by doctors saved him from certain death.  Addressing his first press conference since Thursday when The Citizen first reported about his poisoning in London over a week ago, Mr Mkono who is a prominent lawyer of many years, said he was lucky to be alive and on the way to recovery. “I am okay as you can see… but I am still on medication geared at ensuring the poison is fully drained out of my body,” said Mr Mkono. He told reporters in his Dar es Salaam office that a lot has been said on his predicament but he decided to come out in the open to speak about it and assure his constituents that he was “fit as a fiddle.”

“I am here to personally give an account of what befell me while in London. My doctors say I was given poison but I am now out of danger,” he said, adding that he would not say who or why someone would want him dead. “I was going to London on an official trip and decided to stay at a hotel that I usually reside when I am there on business. I cannot mention here where I got poisoned because we were given executive hospitality as State officials right from the airport in Dar es Salaam” he said.

Mr Mkono  said while attending matters that took him to London, he  suddenly started sweating profusely before he collapsed and was rushed to a nearby hospital by officials from the British national assembly.

He said he collapsed while in the British Parliament and thereafter, he couldn’t tell what was going on. All he would later know was based on what his colleagues told him, that he was in hospital and he actually decided against advice to be flown back to Tanzania for he feared for his life outside the country.

The prominent lawyer said that after arriving at the hospital, his personal physician was informed about his condition and he is the one who advised the British doctors on the kind treatment he should be given for he feared he had been poisoned. After the necessary tests, the physician’s suspicion was proven right.

“Actually my physician, Dr Lusangulira Kapiteni, is the one who saved my life due to the drugs that he advised them to give me because after taking them I came to,” he narrated. According to Mr Mkono, he was warned shortly before flying out to London that he should be careful as there were people who were after his life.

Yesterday, he reassured his voters on the status of his health, saying he was fine. He said while he did not have proof to link the attempt on his life with the Tegeta escrow account scandal, he could not rule out anything. “As a lawyer, my profession dictates that I keep confidential all my relations with my clients. I therefore cannot tell you if or not anyone was linking me to the ongoing saga involving the IPTL,” he said.

The MP, however, declared that should he confirm that the poisoning was linked with the Tegeta escrow saga, he would not hesitate to act “even if it will  mean discarding that confidentiality.” Mr Mkono fell ill suddenly while in London. His doctors said he had been given poison meant to destroy his kidneys within 72 hours. Mr Mkono was the lead counsel for the Tanzania Electric Supply Co Limited (Tanesco) and the government in the case against Independent Power Tanzania Limited (IPTL) in the past decade and represented the two clients at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) before his contract expired earlier this year.

Tanesco declined to renew Mr Mkono’s contract. He is perceived as the key man behind the leak in the escrow saga, given the huge amount of information he must be having about the entire affair.

“Actually my physician, Dr Lusangulira Kapiteni, is the one who saved my life due to the drugs that he advised them to give me because after taking them, I came to,” said Mr Nimrod Mkono