Parliament’s Response to the Opposition MP’s Denied Access to Lubowa Hospital

Speaker Anita Among expressed dismay as Opposition MPs were reportedly denied access to Lubowa Hospital, which is currently under construction.

“It was regrettable that the team was denied access to inspect and assess the status of the construction work at Lubowa Hospital. As members of parliament, we are entrusted with the responsibility of oversight,” Speaker Anita Among said.

She condemned the act and assigned Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa to lead a team to visit the hospital construction site on Wednesday, demanding a detailed report afterward. Additionally, she called for a progress report on the International Specialized Hospital Lubowa before the appropriation process begins.

“We are not asking for too much, we are actually helping you; I looked at the letter of the Minister of Health to the LoP, she just said good luck. What does that mean?” she said.

“I am going to assign my Deputy Speaker to go to Lubowa with MPs and inspect and give us a report,” she stated.

The Speaker tasked the Minister of Health to investigate the circumstances surrounding the denial of access to the hospital by the Opposition MPs and report back to the House.

Addressing assertions that monitoring responsibilities for the hospital’s construction had been shifted to the Prime Minister’s office, Speaker Among clarified that it remains under the purview of the Ministry of Health.

3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Hon Rukia Nakadama, promised action, and that she would liaise with the Ministry of Health to get to the bottom of the matter.

“I am going to look into that matter with the Ministry of Health; we are going to look into that matter so that members can visit that area,” she said.

But MP Ibrahim Ssemujju (FDC, Kira Municipality) watered down Hon Nakadama’s position, saying the Ministry of Health has failed to supervise the hospital construction and surrendered their role to the Office of the Prime Minister.

“I am now shocked that the PM said she is going to consult the Minister of Health; the Auditor General said they are paying money for work that has not even been certified to the tune of $70 million; that project was supposed to be constructed within 48 months,” he said.

Hon. Emmanuel Ongiertho (FDC, Jonam County) said government should be clear on whether MPs should take any interest in the hospital at all.

“Is this facility there? Is it being constructed, and if we have to forget about it, we forget about it,” he said

Leader of the Opposition, Joel Ssenyonyi, sought clarification on the oversight authority and questioned the consistent denial of access to the construction site by Members of Parliament.

He demanded that Parliament cease funding the hospital until accountability issues are resolved. “Let’s halt paying any more money to Lubowa Hospital because they are not accountable,” LOP Joel Ssenyonyi demanded.

With that aside, the State Minister of Finance, Henry Musasizi, explained to the House the status of financing of the Lubowa Specialized Hospital. He informed the House that the total project cost for the hospital is US$379.7m, with US$156m already paid through a government promissory note.