My ex-husband Ivan Ssemwanga was not poisoned – Zari Hassan


Ugandan businesswoman Zari Hassan has rubbished reports that her ex-husband, Ivan Ssemwanga, died after eating a poisoned meal.

Ugandan media reported that Ivan Ssemwanga, who passed on a week ago at South Africa’s Steve Biko Academic Hospital, was poisoned at an entertainment joint in the capital Kampala around three weeks to his death.

The Ugandan media reports attributed the claims to Ivan Ssemwanga’s close family member.

“Ivan, after eating the meal, complained about stomach pains. He would later request to be taken to hospital as his condition worsened,” the insider was quoted as saying.

A Tanzanian weekly would in late May reach out to a doctor, who told the outlet, in confidence, that there was a possibility Ivan’s high blood pressure had been triggered by poison.

Zari Hassan, however, refutes the speculation. Speaking exclusively to the TV channel of Tanzanian showbiz personality, Millard Ayo, Zari Hassan said Ivan had suffered a stroke that paralysed the left part of his body, adding the Rich Gang Crew boss suffered ruptured veins in the head that would later worsen his condition, leading to his death.

“Ivan Ssemwanga was not poisoned. He had a recurrent high blood pressure, which he had never checked, and if he did, then he had not taken it seriously. So, what happened is: he suffered a stroke, causing his blood pressure to shoot up. During the stroke, he was paralysed on the left side of his body,” said Zari Hassan.

“The stroke hit him so bad that his veins in the head burst, causing blood to escape into parts of the brain. The doctor, thereafter, told me that 80 per cent of patients with a condition similar to Ivan’s die immediately, another 20 per cent die within a month after suffering the stroke, and 10 per cent, who survive the stroke become fully dependent; for instance, you’d have to dress them, change their diapers and things like that.

“I enquired from the doctor what the possible outcome was for Ivan. He told me they would perform a surgical operation on his head to reduce the pressure on the brain that was being exerted following the blood that escaped into parts of the brain. The operation, sadly, was unsuccessful because his blood pressure, during the exercise, fluctuated. During the same operation, Ivan bled profusely, prompting the surgeons to stop the exercise as he was going to die if they had not stopped.

“They took him back to the ward to stabilise his condition so as to facilitate an environment for another operation. Two days later, his condition worsened. Towards his last day alive, the doctors phoned and told me we needed to go to the hospital to say our goodbyes to him because his blood pressure had shot up to abnormal levels. The normal blood pressure reads 120 or 125, but Ivan’s read 220; it was really bad. The blood pressure would reduce to 36, which was still very bad. We went and saw Ivan. Around 2am Wednesday, May 24, the doctor called to tell me Ivan had passed on. So, Ivan was not poisoned. It is the stroke that led to his death.”

Ivan Ssemwanga was buried on Tuesday, May 30, at his ancestral home in Nakalilo Village, Kayunga District.

Zari Hassan and Ivan Ssemwanga broke up in November, 2014 after nearly 12 years of marriage. The two have three sons together.

Zari Hassan is currently dating Tanzanian crooner, Diamond Platnumz, who is the father of her last two children, Latiffah Dangote (one-year-old) and Prince Nillan (six months old).

Zari Hassan and Diamond Platnumz kicked off their relationship in December, 2014.



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