The Parliamentary Committee on National Economy has learnt that the Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng has written to President Museveni seeking his intervention in the controversies surrounding the construction of Lubowa Hospital.
The revelation was made on Thursday by the Minister while meeting with MPs who had summoned her to respond to claims that $37M (approximately Shs139,378,304,104.60) released by the Ministry of Finance for the construction of the hospital had vanished with no trace.
The meeting between the Ministry and lawmakers was summoned after Herbert Ariko (Soroti Municipality) revealed that despite the delays the project has faced, the whereabouts of the money that was recently released isn’t known and called on Parliament to look into the matter.
Ariko said in May 2019 that the East and Southern Development Banks released USD87M on 16th May 2019, Stanbic Bank released USD50M of the USD87M but the whereabouts of the balance remains unknown, a revelation that prompted Speaker Rebecca Kadaga to direct the Nationa Economy Committee that had earlier approved the loan to look into the matter.
In March 2019, Parliament approved the proposal by Government to issue promissory notes to a tune of USD379.71m approximately Shs1.393Trn for the construction of a specialized hospital in Lubowa.
During the meeting, Aceng revealed that she had written to Jane Ruth Aceng in her letter to the President on 2nd July to intervene in the standoff between the two contractors, Finasi Construction and Roko Limited after Finasi’s attempts to ditch Roko Construction for a Chinese firm as the sub-contractor of the project.
In her letter to the President, the Minister wrote, “I am humbly requesting that you summon us the concerned parties for a meeting to help streamline the execution of the ISHU Project and to avoid any further stagnation of the project. Your Excellency, any delays in executing this project will lead to insurmountable costs to Government. It is important that the roles of various stakeholders are clarified and harmonized moving forward.”