A petite, soft-spoken woman, Dr Kobusingye has been at the centre of a week-long saga that started last Sunday when news broke that the government had seized a consignment of a book that she wrote. The 213-page book, titled ‘The Correct Line? Uganda under Museveni,’ is a uniquely written critique of President Museveni’s 24 years in power by juxtaposing what he preached and what his government now practices.
The storm generated by Dr Kobusingye’s book even before it hits Kampala’s bookshelves has taken the author with as much surprise about the move to blatantly shut out critical reading material as concern that it could attract more torment to her family, which has already suffered tragedies and pain in the hands of President Museveni’s government.
“I was surprised that in 2010, the government of Uganda would try to prevent the people of Uganda from accessing a book that one of them has written with the best of intentions. And that they would not buy the book, read it and criticise it, but that they would seize the book and stop people from accessing it,” she said.
With her book courting controversy even before making it into the country, Dr Kobusingye says her concern about her safety and that of her family is “because, unfortunately, most of the time when my family has been in the newspapers it hasn’t been to celebrate things. It has been because there is a crisis of one sort or another.”
Having graduated as a medical doctor from Makerere University in 1986 and specialised as a surgeon shortly after, Dr Kobusingye had charted a career path far from politics of any nature – even though her brother had emerged from the National Resistance Army (NRA) bush war and taken one of the influential positions in the new Museveni-led government.