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Kadaga says MPs will still visit Lubowa hospital site

Lubowa Hospital Site

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has said that Parliament will still push to know details about ongoing works at the International Specialized Hospital site at Lubowa in Wakiso district.

On Tuesday, a group of legislators from the National Economy Committee accompanied by the Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng and Permanent Secretary, Diana Atwiine were turned away by armed Local Defense Unit-LDU and Police personnel when they went to inspect the 30-acre construction site along the Kampala-Entebbe Road.

The MPs had sought permission from the Health Ministry to visit the site.  However, they found the gate to the site sealed with a grader and a pickup truck parked at the entrance of the facility, which is fenced with green iron sheets without the inscription of FINASI/ROKO SPV like the case was before.

Later, Finasi/ROKO, the Special Purpose Vehicle which is constructing the 1.4 trillion Shillings’ facility, notes that they blocked the MPs for safety and health reasons.

But Kadaga told journalists in an interview today that what happened on Tuesday will not stop parliament from undertaking its oversight role. She said that parliament will inquire into the reasons why the MPs were blocked from accessing the site and ensure that they visit the site at the next available opportunity.     

In an Interview with URN, the Vice-chairperson of the National Economy committee Lawrence Bategeka stated that MPs do not need clearance from the contractor to be able to access the site which was guaranteed with taxpayers money.  

In March this year, Parliament approved a loan guarantee of USD 379 million to Finasi/ROKO for the construction of a Specialized Hospital.    The project has however been marred with controversies.

Recently, ROKO, one of the project partners, said that it was being unfairly kicked out in favour of a new company, Power China Guizhou Engineering Co, Ltd.  ROKO has since run to court seeking to reverse the decision by FINASI international FZC chaired by Enrica Pinnet.    

Mark Koehler, the Director Roko, says no other companies other than FINASI, ROKO or FINASI/ROKO and its affiliates can be subcontracted work in the hospital of more than 15 per cent based on their contract.

It is on the basis that the MPs sought to visit the site to ascertain whether works were actually past the schedule as stated, but also the general progress of the works.

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