Kivumbi raises dust over latest Lubowa hospital controversy

Kivumbi raises dust over latest Lubowa hospital controversy
Lubowa Hospital remains a suspected white elephant

The Chairperson of the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Mr Muwanga Kivumbi, has said Parliament will not relent in holding Lubowa Specialised International Hospital contractor accountable.

Mr Kivumbi, who was speaking in the wake of Lubowa hospital management stalling PAC and Ministry of Health tour of the taxpayer-draining facility, also demanded that the Auditor General discloses the findings of the special audit conducted on the hospital.

“We urge the Auditor General to release the special audit report to the public. Transparency is crucial,” Kivumbi said.

The Auditor General had earlier told the Speaker that the audit report was finalised in January.

“We have completed a special audit on Lubowa Specialised Hospital, which we will present within two weeks,” outgoing AG John Muwanga said.

The tusks of the white elephant associated with Lubowa hospital grew several inches longer on Monday when it emerged that management of the facility had pushed back Parliament's slated tour by at least another 10 days.

Mr Charles Byararuhanga, the Lubowa hospital chief operating officer, last week wrote to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, rejecting the scheduled tour of the facility.

The team of PAC members and Health ministry officials led by Dr Atwine were scheduled to tour the facility on Monday.

But Mr Byarahanga, replying to Dr Atwine's April 11 letter, said they had started full-scaled construction works on February 14 and thus were inundated by risk policy.

He said the facility did not have the necessary safety gear, such as gumboots and headgear, to facilitate the inspection.

The scheduled dates have been rescheduled to the 26th of April for the oversight to take place.

The contractor, Finansi/Ishu Construction, told Dr Atwine that they needed names of each visitor and their sizes for personal protective jackets and shoes to ensure visitor safety.

“We've been informed that the Madam [Enrica Pinetti] is out of the country, but we won't relent. We hope no further obstacles will arise,” Kivumbi said.

While the project has been marred by controversies, including the expenditure of over Shs476 billion without visible progress, it remains largely elusive to the public eye.

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