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Government sides with Finasi in Lubowa hospital saga

FILE PHOTO: Lubowa hospital

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has said it is not worried about the scuffles between the Special Purpose Vehicle Finasi/ROKO as long as the construction of the International Specialized Hospital of Uganda is ongoing.

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 located in Lubowa, Wakiso district.

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.

Appearing before the National Economy Committee of Parliament today, the Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana told the members that as far as Government is concerned, that is a fight that will be resolved, and so far it has not affected the project works.

He also says the court battles will not affect the implementation of the works, as the Ministry of Finance, and health is keeping a keen eye on the project.

According to Rukutana, as it stands because FINASI has 95 per cent shares in the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV), and Roko has only 5 per cent, it is acceptable in law for Finasi to contract another company. He says the SPV is an independent company different from the ROKO and Finasi international FZC and what Government wants is for the construction to continue.

However, Edmond Ariko, the Soroti Municipality MP says the reason Parliament approved the loan guarantee to the SPV because of ROKO construction company as Finasi International was an unknown company and did not have the capacity to construct the facility.

He says Finasi was supposed to come in at a later stage to equip the facility and train specialists but not take over the construction of the facility.

Committee chairperson, Syda Bbumba questions why the contractors are in conflict, but the Government claims that the project was going on ahead of schedule.

She also told the Attorney General that they are concerned on a possible conflict of interest which might affect project works. She called on the Government to sort out the issue of the owners Engineer Francis Wakabi whose contract has expired but was still in office.

She said the issues were serious and the committee was taking it seriously.

Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the minister of Health recently ran to the President seeking intervention in the Lubowa hospital saga, saying it had gone beyond them.

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