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MPs Want UGX 1.4 trillion Loan Guarantee for Lubowa Hospital Recalled

In May this year, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga tasked the Health Committee of parliament to investigate the project following various concerns from legislators.
ROKO director Willie Swanepoel on the left and Ashab the Roko head project support

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Members of Parliament want the Shillings 1.4 trillion loan guarantee to Finasi/ROKO for the construction of the International Specialized Hospital of Uganda recalled because of the breakdown of the entity in charge of the facility.  In May this year, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga tasked the Health Committee of parliament to investigate the project following various concerns from legislators.

However, the committee is yet to start work. The speaker’s directive followed controversies surrounding the proposed 264-bed specialized Healthcare facility, which was is spear headed by Enrica Pinetti, an Italian Investor under the Finasi/ROKO construction SPV Limited.   

The same month Soroti Municipality MP, Ariko Edmund shocked parliament when he claimed that Shillings 140 billion meant for the project had gone missing. Reports also emerged indicating that Enrica Pinneti had edged out ROKO Construction Company in favor of China power, a Chinese firm. Roko has since secured an interim injunction from High court stopping their eviction by Finasi.

The Roko Country Director, Mark Koehler told journalists last week that he had been evicted from the proposed construction site.  Now, the Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze, says they are concerned as legislators that the entity that was awarded the guarantee to construct Lubowa hospital has fallen apart.

According to Nambooze, Ugandans are likely to lose money because of the greed of the investor who wants to work alone. She says there is need for parliament to recall the loan guarantee since Finasi has decided to stand alone.

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Lucy Akello, the Amuru woman MP wants the entire hospital project halted and investigated. She says the project involves huge amounts of money, adding such controversies shouldn’t be allowed to continue without Government oversight.

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Meanwhile, parliament is yet to constitute a Health committee following the expiry of the mandate of the old committee. The outgoing Health Committee Chairperson, Michael Bukenya, says although there is urgency to summon Finasi/ROKO investors to answer on the status of the hospital, the process has delayed by the pending formation of the health committee.

The health committee is one of the sectoral committees of Parliament whose composition is determined at the start of each session. Sectoral Committees last one session and comprise about 30 members designated by Whips with approval of parliament.