Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng, Health PS Diana Atwine and MPs have been chased out of Lubowa Specialized Hospital construction site.
The officials were blocked by security officials guarding Lubowa construction site that was contracted to Finasi/Roko PSV after parliament approved promissory notes of $379 million (over Shs1.4trn) in March 2019.
The MPs from the committee on National Economy headed by Syda Bbumba (Nakaseke North) wanted to play their oversight role as mandated in the Constitution.
However, when the MPs and health officials reached the fenced-off construction site, the entrance to the site was cordoned off by security.
“We are sorry. We do not have the powers to let you in. Please talk to our bosses,” a voice from a police officer inside the gate continuously roared.
For about one hour, the MPs were restless as they were not allowed to enter the gate.
“How can the company that is contracted by government block government from overseeing the construction works? The Ministry of Health has the mandate to supervise and monitor and so do the MPs. We approved the promissory notes, now why are we being blocked from supervising the project yet it is our constitutional mandate,” William Nzoghu (Busongora North MP) said.
“If they know they are genuine then why are they blocking us? It is now clear that they [Finasi] are having skeletons in their closet,” Katerera County MP Hatwib Katoto said.
In her response, minister Aceng said she cannot explain why they have been blocked from accessing the site. She was however quick to give reference to a letter by the Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi to Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah stopping MPs from visiting the site.
In a letter dated August 02, Muhakanizi says that government officials cannot visit Lubowa construction site following pending ongoing legal disputes between Finasi and Roko.
Muhakanizi says that the construction site is “no longer in the hands of government and government officials cannot therefore, move on and off the site at will.”