By Hanning Mbabazi
Kampala: Government was on July 10 tasked to present a comprehensive statement explaining the status of the proposed International Specialized Hospital of Uganda in Lubowa, Wakiso District.
In March, Parliament guaranteed a 1.4 trillion Shillings loan to Finasi/ROKO for the construction of the 264-bed specialized health care project. But two months after the guarantee, members learnt that at least 240 billion Shillings, of the total loan, had gone missing even before the project took shape.
Soon after, news emerged that the joint venture between Finasi and Roko had collapsed.
The FINASI-RoKo consortium has reportedly innovated and developed specific know-how in the Healthcare field delivering state of the art facilities and providing solutions and added value services to its clients. Some of its projects are Sharg Al Nile hospital in Khartoum and Famboni General Hospital in Comoros among others.
But latest reports indicate that the Italian investor Enrica Pinetti had edged out ROKO Construction Company in favor of China power. Roko has since secured an interim injunction from the High court stopping its ejection.
Roko Country Director Mark Koehler told journalists last week that he had been evicted from the proposed construction site under unclear circumstances.
Amid the controversies, legislators are concerned that they could have guaranteed a sham project. Isingiro South MP Alex Byarugaba asked Parliament to use its power to bring the hospital investors to book.
The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga also tasked the government to respond to the matter urgently and explain to the country the genesis of the controversies on the project.
The proposed hospital will have an 80-bed oncology centre, a doctor and Nurses school, accommodation, a 9MW powerhouse and the proposed National Ambulance control centre.
According to the breakdown of the money, the purchase, delivery and installation of medical equipment, hospital furniture, testing, commissioning and training will cost 370 billion Shillings, civil works excluding mobilization costs will cost 320 billion Shillings, medicines and consumables for a year are budgeted at 62 billion Shillings and preliminary project development is 50 billion Shillings.
Construction of the hospital delayed since 2014 due to challenges of land ownership and fund guarantees. Government is expected to take over the hospital after ten years according to the agreement.