Parliament has asked President Yoweri Museveni to consider withdrawing his directive to hire a Chinese company, Power China International, for the construction of Lubowa International Hospital over incompetence and delayed works.
The MPs also want the company’s contract to tarmac seven roads across the country terminated.
According to Solomon Silwany (Bukooli Central MP), Power China International, “does not deal in construction but rather in furniture and toilet papers and I have evidence that they don’t have the capacity to take on Government works of that magnitude.”
Silwany informed the House that Museveni had directed the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to enter into a pre-finance agreement with Power China International to construct seven different roads in the country covering 557.8 km.
He said that in the 10th Parliament, the then state minister for planning, David Bahati pushed the House to approve Government’s proposal to issue promissory notes to the said company to Construct Lubowa hospital and the green light was given but to date, works have not yet kicked off.
Silwany called upon the Speaker to direct the Government to provide the status report on the construction of the Lubowa Hospital as well as the eligibility of Power China International Group to undertake the project.
Parliament in March 2019 approved a guarantee of $379m (about Sh1.4 trillion) for the construction of an international specialized hospital at Lubowa in Wakiso district.
The facility with a 264-bed specialized healthcare capacity was to be operated as a world-class internationally accredited facility to treat conditions that warrant medical tourism for Ugandans mostly in Asia, Europe and South Africa.
The proponents for constructing Lubowa said the hospital would handle conditions such as cancer heart diseases, organ transplants, fertility treatment, highly specialized surgeries and bone marrow transplants.
The Government then sought authorization of Parliament for the project following a proposal by the Italian investors Finasi Roko Construction SPV Limited, a major member of the FINASI-RoKo consortium, an entity that specializes in the construction of turnkey health care facilities.
In response to Silwany, Bahati who is currently the state minister for industries promised to engage the Minister for Works and Transport who was not present for the plenary sitting and would update the House accordingly.
The Minister of State for Planning, Amos Lugoloobi assured Parliament that there would be close to zero risk of financial loss to the Government in the contract, given that the project pre-financing charges the company to commit its resources for two to three years after the award of the contract.
Deputy Speaker Anita Among directed the Government to provide the status report on the construction of the Lubowa Specialized Hospital as well as the eligibility of Power China International Group to undertake the project.
She said that Government ought to do due diligence on potential companies for contracts, before advising the President.