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Museveni, Health experts in crisis meeting at States House

by Odongo Christopher

President Museveni on Tuesday summoned and met with top Health Ministry officials and other stakeholders to discuss the escalating crisis over the management of the $379.6m International Specialized Hospital Lubowa (ISHL).

The meeting took place at State House Entebbe in the afternoon hours.

In July, 2019, Health Minister Ruth Aceng asked President Museveni for a meeting to discuss the troubled project which the country hoped would save Uganda $150m (Shs 600bn) for treating its officials abroad every year.

Aceng said the Ministry, which is mandated to supervise the project, had met “challenges” and sought Museveni’s “wise counsel” to help in streamlining issues to allow the project progress as planned.

The request came after a legal dispute arose between the shareholders in the Special Purpose Vehicle (Roko Construction and Finasi) which is now a subject of court proceedings.

Roko said in a suit that it was treated in an oppressive manner by Finasi when the latter was evicted from the construction site in favour of Chinese contractors, Ms PowerChina Guizhou Engineering Co Ltd.

The High Court has since issued an interim injunction order directing the statusquo be maintained – that Finasi should not evict Roko from the construction site. An appeal lodged by Finasi was this past Friday dismissed by the Court of Appeal.

It remains unclear what President Museveni discussed with various stakeholders in the project at the State House meeting.

However, Aceng had earlier informed Parliament that the “legal issues if not expeditiously disposed are likely to affect the progress of works.”

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