KAMPALA — The incoming head of Public Service Lucy Nakyobe Mbonye said on Sunday, that infighting inside the Ministry of Health could have contributed to the eventual sickness that led to the death of her husband Prof. Anthony Kabanza Mbonye.
Ms. Nakyobe told mourners during a requiem mass at their home in Ggaba, Kampala, that Prof. Mbonye developed a gastric problem that later developed into a cancer of the stomach around 2017 at the height of serious disagreements between the technocrats at the Ministry of Health.
“There was a lot of stress as a result of the fights at the Ministry and we think this illness could have developed as a result,” Ms Nakyobe, speaking in Luganda said.
Prof. Mbonye, then Director General of Health Services decided to opt for early retirement in 2018 after the job he held was advertised at the instigation of the “new team” at the Ministry led by Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine and Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng.
Ms Nakyobe said on Sunday, that Prof. Mbonye had however forgiven all that wronged him before his death.
The former Director General of Health Services died on Sunday, July 25 morning, in a Kampala hospital.
Ms Nakyobe, addressing mourners thanked President Museveni for the support during the time her husband was sick and required specialised treatment in India, Dubai and Germany.
President Museveni on Sunday described Prof. Mbonye’s death as a big disappointment for the country, and all who know his work in the medical service.
“I want to express condolences to our incoming Head of Civil Service, Lucy Nakyobe on account of the death of her husband, Dr. Mbonye. His untimely death is a big disappointment for the country and all who know his work in the medical service,” the President wrote in a message published on Sunday via his Twitter handle.
He said Prof. Mbonye who has been a medical doctor, author and Professor at the College of Health Sciences, Makerere University and Uganda Christian University, Mukono still had a lot to contribute to the country.
Prof. Mbonye had joined the public service in 1986, cutting out a long and illustrious career.
Prof. Mbonye was one of the county’s most published medical authors.
He authored or co-authored over 200 papers that were published and peer-reviewed in different fields of health like public health, reproductive health, malaria and HIV/AIDS.
One of his most popular literary works was a book, ‘Uganda’s Health Sector Through Turbulent Politics, 1958-2008,’.
In the book, Prof. Mbonye, chronicling how he left the Ministry of Health exposed how politicking had ruined the health sector.
He highlighted the challenges faced in management, the most glaring being the promotion of inexperienced junior staff to senior positions, undermining the capacity of the sector to deliver effective service delivery.
Prof. Mbonye is survived by a wife, four children and two grandchildren.
He will be laid to rest on Tuesday July 27, 2021 in Rwenkoowa village, Ibanda district, with mass to be led by the Archbishop of Mbarara, Most Rev. Lambert Bainomugisha.