KAMPALA – Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga insists that Members of Parliament will tour the construction site for the Specialized International Hospital at Lubowa, Entebbe, arguing that it is their constitutional mandate.
On Tuesday, a group of legislators from the National Economy Committee accompanied by the Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng and Permanent Secretary, 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.
But in a statement to the Press at Parliament on Friday, Kadaga vowed to engage the responsible offices to have the committee visit the site.
The MPs had sought permission from the Health Ministry to visit the site. However, they found the gate to the site sealed with a grader and a pickup truck parked at the entrance of the facility, which is fenced with green iron sheets without the inscription of FINASI/ROKO SPV like the case was before.
Later, Finasi/ROKO, the Special Purpose Vehicle which is constructing the 1.4 trillion Shillings’ facility, noted that they blocked the MPs for safety and health reasons.
But Ms Kadaga said 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.
The Speaker stated that MPs do not need clearance from the contractor to be able to access the site which was guaranteed with taxpayers money.
Early this year, parliament approved a loan guarantee of $379 million (about Shs 1.4 trillion) for Finasi/Roko for the construction of a specialized hospital.
However, the project has 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.