MPs Lock Horns With Government Over Lubowa Specialised Hospital Request For UGX 319B New Funding
By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: Members of parliament have tasked government to first give a report on the status of construction of the International Specialised Hospital in Lubowa, along the Kampala-Entebbe Road.
This has prompted the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, to direct the Prime Minister to give the government’s position before the new funding is approved.
Anita’s directive follows the Ministry of Finance’s request for an extra Shs 319 billion in the next financial year to be given to the Italian investor for the project which was already guaranteed Shs Shs 1.4 trillion in 2019 by the government.
However, some Members of Parliament requested the disbursement of the money should not be approved until the progress of the project is confirmed.
“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.
Muwanga Kivumbi, the MP for Butambala County explained that 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,” 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 work 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 Kivumbi.
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.