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Minister Aceng asks President Museveni to intervene in Lubowa hospital saga

FILE PHOTO: Lubowa hospital

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng has written to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni seeking his intervention in the controversies surrounding the construction of Lubowa Hospital.

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 International Specialised Hospital of Uganda 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.

Now the Minister of Health Aceng in her letter to the President dated 2nd July, noted that it is clear there is a standoff between the Ministry of Health and the SPV over the construction of the hospital as the matter is getting out of hand.

She called on the President to intervene on the matter as the continued battle would upset the project.

In the letter URN has seen, Aceng says they have met challenges in executing the project and seek the President’s wise counsel. “Whereas the Ministry of Health discharged its contractual- obligations and handed over the site to the SPV, there arose a legal dispute between the shareholders in the SPV (Roko Construction and Finasi) which is now subject of court proceedings, “ the letter reads.

Roko construction Ltd says it has been treated in an oppressive manner by Finasi when the latter evicted it from the construction site in favor of a Chinese contractor.

Aceng says they are currently stuck with the hospital as they are experiencing issues of lack of transparency on the side of Finasi/ROKO.

“I am humbly requesting that you summon us the concerned parties for a meeting to help streamline the execution of the ISHU Project and to avoid any further stagnation of the project. Your Excellency, any delays in executing this project will lead to insurmountable costs to Government. It is important that the roles of various stakeholders are clarified and harmonized moving forward.” Aceng letter reads.

Aceng who was today appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy alongside the Ministry Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine, says there is a big problem with the people constructing the hospital.

Although the Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine wrote to the Attorney General, seeking legal opinion on how they should proceed and the legal implications and capacity of the new subcontractor, the Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana advised that the subcontractor can be allowed to work.

“You are advised that subcontracting is allowed by the Project Works Investment Agreement (PWIA) as long as SPV demonstrates that the proposed sub-contractor Power China Guizhou Engineering Ltd has the required technical and financial expertise to execute the proposed.” part of Rukutana legal advice reads.

Atwine, said she has tasked FINASI, to show that ROKO construction company has consented to bringing Power China on board and also financial capacity.

She told the committee she’s being threatened by Finasi ROKO for delaying to approve the Chinese company.

The committee chairperson Lawrence Bategeka said they will have an internal meeting with Ministry of Finance, invite ROKO/Finasi and Ministry of health to resolve these matters.

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