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Lubowa Hospital funds reported missing

FILE PHOTO: Artistic plan of  Lubowa International Specialized Hospital

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Parliament has started investigating reports that more than 140 billion Shillings set aside for the construction of the Lubowa International Specialized Hospital has gone missing.

In March this year, Parliament approved a guarantee of USD 379 million (1.4 trillion Shillings) for the construction of the Hospital in Lubowa, Wakiso district. The project is a brainchild of Enrica Pinetti an Italian investor of Finasi Roko Construction SPV Limited, an entity which specializes in the construction of turnkey health care facilities is behind the project.

The Ugandan government agreed to finance the firm to construct and run the specialized facility and payback within eight years from the commencement of operations.

The facility with a 264-bed specialized Healthcare capacity will be operated as a world-class internationally accredited facility to treat conditions for which Ugandans have been travelling abroad. The conditions include cancer treatment, heart diseases, organ transplant, fertility treatment, highly specialized surgeries, and bone marrow transplant, among others.

But Soroti Municipality MP Herbert Ariko told parliament this afternoon that the East and Southern Development Bank released 327 billion Shillings on May 16, 2019, to finance the project. However, he added, that Stanbic Bank, where the money was transferred through only released 188 billion Shillings.

According to Ariko, the missing funds amount to 140 billion Shillings (USD 37 million) of 327 billion shillings (USD 87 million) has already gone missing.  He asked parliament to monitor and evaluate the hospital project step by step and review the owners Engineer Francis Wakabi whose contract is still running despite a recommendation for its termination.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga asked the Health committee of Parliament to invite the investor to explain the shortfall. She also asked the government to give a detailed schedule on the plan for the construction of the hospital and its phases.

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