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Kadaga demands explanation from Lubowa Hospital project firm for locking out MPs

Speaker Rebecca Kadaga during a plenary sitting recently. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Speaker Rebecca Kadaga has tasked officials from Finasi/Roko Construction Ltd to explain why they blocked lawmakers on the National Economy Committee to access the construction site for the international specialised hospital in Lubowa.

Ms Kadaga made the remarks on Friday, August 9 during a media engagement with journalists while wishing the Muslim community peaceful and happy Eid Aduha celebrations slated to take place on Sunday August 11.

“I don’t know why they weren’t allowed to do their work, as far as I am concerned, we vouched for this money, appropriated it. 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 will debate,” said Kadaga.

It should be recalled that Lawmakers accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Health were left stranded when security barred the team from accessing the site handed over to Finasi/Roko Construction SPV Limited the company to construct a specialised hospital at Lubowa.

In a statement issued out by Finasi Roko Construction, the company feigned ignorance about the visit arguing that they learnt about the matter from media reports.

Finasi also blamed the Ministry of Health for ambushing the contractor and failing to abide by their contractual agreement to notify the contractor ahead of the visit describing the fracas as unfortunate incident that was caused by the lack of appropriate notification to the SPV regarding the intended visit.

The statement read in part, “It would have been helpful to know the purpose and length of visit as well as the number of persons intended for admission to site, so that the required apparatus/ equipment are assembled and made available. It is hoped that the Ministry of Health as the owner of the project can give adequate notice for the next visit so the necessary arrangements can be made. Once again, the SPV regrets the inconvenience caused.”

Dr Jane Ruth Aceng and Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine and Committees on Health and National Economy enied access to the construction site of the specialised hospital in Lubowa. (PHOTO/File)

Finasi also defended the blocking of the Ministry and lawmakers on the project works investment agreement signed between the project company and the Government that requires prior reasonable notice to the SPV to prepare health and safety gear and apparel as well as conduct health and safety induction to the intended visitors.

“It is common knowledge that if any personal injury or other damages occur on site, responsibility for such injury or damage falls squarely with the contractor. In order to properly manage this kind of risk, the entry of any person who is not a construction worker onto the site must be arranged well ahead of time,” read in part the statement.

Meanwhile, the Speaker also called for harnessing of sensitization about Islamic banking to ensure that it is positively embraced by Ugandans after reports that a section of religious leaders and civil society groups decampaigning Islamic banking saying it has come to suffocate ordinary banking institutions.

Kadaga notes that Islamic banking is an option that can be used by those that want it while those opposed to it can use others banking options and assured the Muslim community that Parliament played its role of passing the law and all that is left is for the Executive to pass regulations to see the system taking shape.

Parliament passed the motion allowing the Ministry of Finance to issue promissory notes amounting to Shs1.4Trn but the controversy that swirled the project after approval saw Speaker request the Committee to investigate the matter again.

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