PS Atwine sues Prof Mbonye for defamation

Kampala. The permanent secretary for Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, has sued Prof Anthony K. Mbonye, the former director general of Health Services in the same ministry, for allegedly defaming her in his recently released book.
Prof Mbonye in his book alleges a litany of in-fighting and power struggles that led to his resignation in January 2018.
“In November 2018, the defendant [Prof Mbonye] authored and published a book titled ‘Uganda’s Health Sector through turbulent politics (1958-2018) with various chapters defaming the plaintiff [Dr Atwine],” reads Dr Atwiine’s suit documents.
“On page 121 of the book, Chapter VIII titled Politics and Crisis of Leadership in the Health Sector 2010-2018, the defendant [Dr Mbonye] authored and published the following word; earlier the little known but vicious Dr Diana Atwine had sought to capitalise on her closeness to the First Family in order to ascend the hierarchy of the health sector but without much success,” Dr Atwiine states.
Dr Atwine says the words are defamatory and meant to portray her as corrupt, an influence peddler, a schemer, conspirator, unethical person and unqualified to hold the position of permanent secretary in the Health ministry.
“The plaintiff contends that the allegations made against her by the defendant are completely false and the defendant’s actions were malicious, careless, callous and wanton,” Dr Atwine states.
She contends that the defamatory statements have been widely circulated by the defendant among the public in Uganda and internationally through the sale of the book and its review online.
Through her lawyers of K&K Advocates, Dr Atwine is seeking an apology from Prof Mbonye, general damages, exemplary damages, a permanent injunction, interest and costs of the suit.


In his book, Prof Mbonye alleges that the appointment of inexperienced junior officers to influential positions in the Health ministry has undermined the quality of services delivered by the sector.
“The immediate effect has been on the demoralisation of staff who feel that the institutional mechanism to advance their professional careers are no longer relevant,” Prof Mbonye writes in his book, Uganda’s Health Sector – Through Turbulent Politics (1958-2018).
“A case in point is the appointment of the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, who possessed little knowledge of the health sector and no experience in management and accounting procedures,” Prof Mbonye writes in his book.