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Aristoc asks Prof Mbonye to take back controversial book

SPOTLIGHT | Aristoc Booklex, one of the leading bookstores in the country, has asked Prof Anthony Mbonye to collect his controversial book and sell elsewhere.

The controversial book, “Uganda’s Health Sector Through Turbulent Politics (1958-2018),” went on sale last week, but Mbonye told this news website that Aristoc has decided to go back on earlier agreement to sell the books, citing orders from a top official.

“On Friday evening, I received a call, telling me to collect my books. They are now being sold at another outlet near Stanbic Bank, Garden City,” Mbonye said.

Sendo Cleaners

In the expository book, the former acting director-general for health services at the Ministry of Health takes matters personally against three top ministry officials, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, Dr Diana Atwine, and Dr Christine Ondoa.

He accuses health minister Aceng, permanent secretary Atwine and director of Uganda Aids Commission Ondoa of being the top health ministry officials “who thrive on intrigue.”

The management of Aristoc Booklex has been tight-lipped on Mbonye’s latest claims but an official admitted there was a “small request” from one of the subjects in Mbonye’s book on the sale of the books.

“But it’s better to call Mbonye and these official to find out the truth,” one of the managers said, asking not to be committed to the matter.

Prof Mbonye is the husband of State House Comptroller Lucy Nakyobe, who is said to have had a long running feud with fellow staffers at the Number One office in the land.

Among those cited in the bitter fight for dominance and attention of President Museveni and his immediate family was Dr Atwine, then head of State House Health Monitoring Unit.

However, when Atwine was posted to the Ministry of Health as permanent secretary and went on to endorse a controversial IGG directive that Mbonye be removed from office over conflict of interest, the professor of medicine took the challenge personally and concluded Atwine had extended the feud with his wife to him.

Mbonye would later win a legal challenge against the IGG directive but resigned from his position, saying he would not work in an environment rife with intrigue.

He has since decided to fight back, first by publishing 360-page expose in a book focused on the Ministry of Health, while also indicating he would seek legal challenges to his perceived nemesis Dr Atwine and the circumstances under which she was appointed a top technocrat at the ministry.

“She gained an E in Chemistry, B in Biology, and D in Physics. In addition, she scored a credit 3 in General Paper and credit 5 in sub-maths. Thus, it’s rather surprising that she was admitted into a medical course with such low scores,” says Mbonye, a senior lecturer at College of Health Sciences at Makerere University.

“She should be aware that I am liberty to challenge her degree and whether she had the requisite points to be admitted to the bachelor of Medicine and bachelor of surgery at Mbarara University of Science & Technology(MUST),” he adds.

But Atwine says she was not ready to respond because the book was written out of frustration.

She also questions whether Mbonye went to the [Mbarara] university to find out the cutoff points it used for admission at the time.

“Mbonye hates me and I don’t expect him to speak good things about me,” Atwine said.

She, however, remained tight lipped on whether she would seek legal redress against clais Mbonye makes in his book.

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