Constitutional Court dismisses case against gov’t over Lubowa Hospital

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Constitutional Court dismisses case against gov’t over Lubowa Hospital
Lubowa Hospital construction site

The Constitutional Court in Kampala has dismissed a case in which a civil society organized had dragged government to court over the controversial international specialized hospital in Lubowa.

The Initiative for Social and Economic Rights(ISER) ran to court seeking nullification of all agreements that government signed with FINASI /Roko Construction SPV Limited for financing of the design, construction and equipping of the hospital in Lubowa.

However, in a lead judgment by Justice Irene Mulyagonja, the court ruled that the rightful procedure was followed before signing the agreement for the construction of the hospital.

the provisions in Article 159 (2l', (5) and (6) of the Constitution were satisfied by sections 23 and 36 of the Public Finance Management Act(PFMA). The Direct Agreement was laid before Parliament which scrutinised it through the Committee on National Economy and the requisite Resolution was passed by Parliament. The execution of the Direct Agreement in respect of the International Hospital of Uganda (ISHU) was therefore not in contravention with or inconsistent with Article 159 (2), (5) and (6) of the Constitution,” Justice Mulyagonja said.

The judge said that parliament was given opportunity to study the Ministry of Health's Contracts Committee decision on the approval of the Project Framework Agreement dated 28 August, 2014 and therefore, it didn’t require members of the public to participate in decision making for the same.

“With regard to public –private partnerships(PPPs), at the time that the transactions in contest in this petition arose, the Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development had already put in place and gazetted the Public-Private Partnership Framework Policy which was approved by Cabinet on March 10, 2010.”

“I would therefore find that the acts of the Ministers and Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance entering into the impugned contracts could not have contravened the provisions of Article 38 of the Constitution. Instead, government entered into the contracts pursuant to a Policy that was adopted by Cabinet constituted of the representatives of the people of Uganda, and according to the democratic processes that were agreed upon in the Constitution.”

The court ruled that there was no law contravened by government in entering into agreement with FINASI /Roko Construction SPV Limited for the construction of Lubowa Hospital.

“This petition therefore fails ano I would find that the petitioner is not entitled to any of the remedies claimed. I would dismiss it with no order as to costs,” Justice Mulyagonja ruled in the lead judgment.



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