Kadaga insists MPs must visit Lubowa hospital site

Lubowa hospital construction site

Lubowa hospital construction site

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Kadaga has said that parliament will still push to know details about ongoing works at the International Specialized Hospital Uganda 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, Dr 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 ministry of Health to visit the site. However, they found the gate to the site blocked with a grader and a pickup truck.  

Later, Finasi/Roko, the special purpose vehicle which is constructing the Shs 1.4 trillion facility, notes that they blocked the MPs for safety and health reasons. But Kadaga told journalists in an interview 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.     

"I don’t know why they were not allowed to do their work. As far as I know, I’m concerned it is the work of parliament, we vote for this money, we appropriate it. So it is our responsibility to follow up what has happened to the money and what is going on. I will find out why they were stopped, and ensure that they actually go and do their work because we expect a report from them which we shall discuss at some stage." said Kadaga. 

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 $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.    

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd