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Finasi snubs parliament probe into Lubowa hospital

FILE PHOTO: Lubowa hospital

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Representatives of Finasi International FZC on Thursday failed to appear before the Parliamentary committee on National Economy which is probing into the Lubowa hospital saga.

Finasi International FZC which is the majority shareholder in the Finasi/ROKO Special Purpose Vehicle for the construction of the International Specialised hospital of Uganda (ISHU) to be located in Lubowa, Wakiso district was asked by the committee to come answer on the status of works on ground alongside ROKO construction. But a letter from the company said they were ambushed and that the matter is already before court.

Parliament early this year approved a loan guarantee of 1.4 trillion shillings to Finasi/ROKO, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the construction of the hospital.

However the project has faced setbacks with the SPV Finasi/ROKO falling apart following the introduction of another player Power China Guizhou Engineering co as the civil works contractor, but also allegations that up to 86 million US dollars meant for the project is already missing.

ROKO has run to court seeking to alter the move by FINASI international FZC chaired by Enrica Pinneti to eject it from the shareholding in the construction of the hospital. Power China is already at the sight constructing despite the battle.

According Syda Bbumba, the committee chairperson, she labored in vain to explain to Finasi that they will not go into the merits of the case in court, but sought to ensure the progress of the facility, but this was in vain.

Bbumba also says Finasi told her that ROKO cannot be hosted by the Parliamentary committee saying they are a minority share holder.   She says ROKO has also never been their contractor despite having shares in the SPV.

In The letter  that URN has seen, addressed to the committee chairperson Syda Bbumba and the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga by FINASI Company Secretary and Head of Legal Moses Matovu, they say they received a letter as a by the way from the Ministry of finance and not the Parliament committee, and thus they were ambushed. Matovu also says that the matter the committee intends to discuss is a subject of several high court proceedings and discussing it will constitute to contempt of court.

Finasi says they are committed to developing the hospital, and that the ongoing court battle will not affect the ongoing works.

However ROKO who appeared before the committee says they entered into the SPV because they are a construction company and Finasi cannot allege that they are not the contractors.

ROKO  Director Mark Koehler, presented the committee with several bank documents from Barclays Bank, DFCU bank, Sanlam insurance among others backing  ROKO. He says as ROKO, all they want is justice for being edged out by FINASI.

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