MPs on the Parliamentary Committee of National Economy who were recently denied entry to a construction site where government plans to build an International specialized Hospital, have threatened that they will table a motion in parliament to recall the loan for the project if it turns out that the contractor has abused any of the obligations laid out in the contract agreement.
The threat was issued today as state Minister for Finance Hon. David Bahati interfaced with the committee members on way forward following an incident that happened recently when committee members on a field visit to the construction site were turned away and denied access to the site by the project contractor who cited safety of MPs.
David Bahati apologized on behalf of the ministry of finance and assured members that he is in touch with the contractor so that the committee can visit the site when necessary.
Legislators chaired by Hon. Syda Bbumba told Hon. Bahati that they will consider several alternatives to counteract efforts to stop them from doing their oversight role, and if they ever find out that the contractor has abused any of provisions in the contact agreement, they will table a motion in parliament to recall the loan.
Legislators insist that US$86.37 has already been approved for the milestone covered, yet information available shows that what has been done is far little compared to the funds approved.
“We cant allow it because there is a lot of pressure in the public with people fearing that taxpayers money could end up being wasted” Hon. Syda Bbumba said.
MPs also threatened to suspend approvals of all loans brought to the committee until they are allowed to do visit the site and do their oversight role on the multi billion project.
“Our intention is (and was) to visit the site as part of our responsibility because we cannot stop at approving the loans and not do oversight on projects. If government continues to behave like this, we can be forced to recall this loan” said Hon. Andrew Baryayanga Aja.
Minister Bahati however assured legislators that the committee is able to visit the site any day once there is a communication to ensure preparation for the same.
On their last attempt, the legislators had sought permission from the minister of health but they were turned away by armed LDU’s together with police personnel, and the site gate blocked by a grader.
MPs also demand that the minister of finance should come to the floor of parliament and make a formal apology to the committee for the attempt to undermine their mandate.
The contractor FINASI/ROKO Special Purpose Vehicle later apologized that there was no communication prior to the visit so as to ensure safety of MPs during the inspection of the construction site.
Today, MPs demanded that next week, the minister of finance must produce the project contractor before the committee, and present an audit report on status of work so far done on the ground.
The 1.4 trillion project loan was passed by parliament in March this year, to facilitate construction of a Specialized Hospital at Lubowa, along Entebbe Road.