Members of Parliament on the Parliamentary Committee of National Economy have threatened to recall a loan that was awarded for the construction of Lubowa International Specialised hospital, in case the project contractor fails to present an audit report next week.
The legislators on Wednesday said that very soon they will be tabling a motion in Parliament to recall the loan for this project in case they find out that the contractor has abused any of the responsibilities laid out in the contract agreement.
Last week, the same committee together with the officials from Ministry of Health; Minister Dr Ruth Aceng and Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine went to do an oversight at the site in Lubowa, unfortunately, they were denied entrance on argument that they did not inform the site contractor before.
Later this website confirmed that Dr Aceng had informed the management days before. However, according to Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary Keith Muhakanizi, the government officials were not supposed to access the premises because they were breaching the rules of the agreement.
Appearing before the committee yesterday, State Minister for Finance David Bahati apologised on behalf of the Ministry and assured members that he is in touch with the contractor so that the committee can visit the site when necessary.
However, the committee chairperson Sydah Bumba cautioned him that they will consider several ways to resist any efforts hindering them from doing their oversight role.
She added that if her committee finds out that the contractor has abused any of the provisions in the contract agreement, they will make sure that the loan is recalled without fear.
“Out of Shs 1.4 trillion loan, Shs320.1bn has already been approved for the milestone covered, but the information we have shows that what has been done is far little compared to the funds approved. We can’t allow being fooled, because there is a lot of pressure in the public with people fearing that taxpayers money could end up being wasted” Bumba said.
She also warned Bahati that they will suspend approvals of all loans brought to the committee until they visit the site and do their oversight role.
“We need the project contractor to present the audit report on the status of work so far done on the ground, we need this quickly probably next week,” she added.
Andrew Baryayanga Aja MP Kabale Municipality added “We still insist that we have to visit the site as part of our responsibility because we cannot stop at approving the loans and not do oversight on projects. If the government continues to behave like this, I sure you, we shall recall this loan.”
They also asked Bahati to go on the floor of parliament and make a formal apology to the committee for the attempt to undermine their mandate.
Bahati, however, assured the legislators that the committee can visit the site any day once there is a communication to ensure preparation.