The proposed International
Specialized Hospital Uganda is on course contrary to allegations of missing
funds, the Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng has revealed.
In March, parliament
approved a guarantee of USD 379 million (1.4 trillion Shillings) for the
construction of the specialized Hospital in Lubowa in Wakiso district.
The project is a brainchild of Enrica Pinetti,
an Italian investor of Finasi Roko Construction SPV Limited, which specializes
in the construction of turnkey health care facilities.
Uganda agreed to finance the firm to construct and run the
specialized facility and payback the money within eight years from the
commencement of operations.
However, recently parliament called for
investigations into reports that more than 140
billion Shillings set aside for the construction of the Hospital had gone missing.
It followed reports by the Soroti Municipality MP, Herbert Ariko indicating that
the East and Southern Development Bank released Shillings 327 billion on May
16, 2019 to finance the project. He however,
said that Stanbic Bank where the money was channeled only released 188 billion
On Tuesday, Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng,
said the Lubowa hospital project was on course, adding that there is no need to
worry about the claims of missing funds.
According to Aceng, if
any money is to get lost at this point, it will not be government funds since
it is only issuing promissory notes as a guarantee to secure the money.
Aceng says as far as they know, Finasi-Roko is still in the
process of securing money to start the project. She says claims of
missing funds are misguided and an effort to frustrate the project.
Asked the exact time when the project will start, Aceng
said there is a timeline for the construction and the modalities of monitoring
//Cue in: “So there is…
Cue out:…we get going”//
The minister also said they cannot terminate the contract of
Francis Wakabi, the Ministry of Health owners Engineer whose contract ends in
July, saying they could be dragged to court.
According to Aceng,
they are ready to employ a new group of engineers once Wakabi’s contract expires.
//cue in: “You cannot terminate…
Cue out:…start construction”//
The facility with a 264-bed specialized Healthcare capacity
will be operated as a world-class internationally accredited facility to treat
conditions for which Ugandans have been travelling abroad.
include cancer treatment, heart diseases, organ transplant, fertility
treatment, highly specialized surgeries, and bone marrow transplant, among