Uganda: Among dispatches Tayebwa to Lubowa hospital site after Members of Parliament (MPs) denied access

Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has condemned the blocking of the MPs led by Leader of the Opposition Hon Joel Ssenyonyi from visiting the Lubowa hospital construction site.

Speaker Among has now sent Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, to visit the hospital site, putting government to task on why the site is a no go zone for Parliament.

“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.

She added: “I am going to assign my Deputy Speaker to go to Lubowa with MPs and inspect and give us a report”.

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon Joel Ssenyonyi, had led a team of Opposition legislators to inspect the site and construction of the proposed international hospital located off Kampala – Entebbe highway on Monday 26 February 2024.

Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka was asked whether oversight is no longer a constitutional duty of Parliament.

“The last time I checked it [oversight] was still in the statute book; the oversight role of Parliament still exists,” said Hon Kiwanuka.

MP Margaret Rwabushaija (NRM, Workers) was unmoved. She said visiting the hospital site is a safety concern for MPs.

“They are sealing it off and nobody should go there because it is a ghost; coming when they are armed and our members are not armed is threatening, one day we will come and see when our people are shot,” she said.

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.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.

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