By Spy Uganda
The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, this week directed the Prime Minister to give the government’s position on the status of the construction of the International Specialised Hospital in Lubowa, Wakiso district along the Kampala-Entebbe Road.
“A team went to the construction site and they were denied entry, on this one, we must speak as Members of Parliament. We need to know what is happening in Lubowa hospital before we finalize the budget,” said Among.
Her directive followed a matter of national importance raised by Hon. Muwanga Kivumbi (NUP, Butambala County) during plenary sitting on Thursday, 14 April 2022.
“In the current budget, the hospital was allocated Shs 348 billion. In the 2022/2023 budget proposal before the committee of finance and the ministerial policy statement, another Shs319 billion is being allocated to the same hospital,” Muwanga Kivumbi said.
He said that the controversy surrounding the construction of the hospital requires the committees of Finance and Budget to ascertain the level of works at the site.
“This money is being paid through a promissory note and with this system, on completion, the ministry has to give money through vote 130. My prayer is that Rt Hon. Speaker, you direct committees of Finance and Budget to ascertain value for money,” said Muwanga Kivumbi.
The Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba, had said that the matter should not have been presented during the plenary sitting, but rather addressed with the Speaker.
“I think as MPs, we should also take advantage of coming to your office where you have left the door wide open such that advice would have been given. Members are free to go to the facility and make recommendations,” said Kasule Lumumba.
In 2019, Parliament approved a loan guarantee of Shs1.4 trillion to Finasi/Roko, a special purpose vehicle (SPV) for the construction of the hospital.
The project has, however, recorded setbacks with the SPV Finasi/ROKO falling apart following the introduction of another player, a Chinese firm, Power China Guizhou Engineering Co. Ltd as the civil works contractor.
Following the controversies, the Committee on National Economy requested the Ministry of Health to facilitate an onsite check on the progress of the hospital.
The legislators, together with the Minister of Health Minister and her Permanent Secretary were blocked from accessing the construction site on 06 August 2019.