By Moses Mulondo
Member of Parliament on the national economy have queried an exorbitant consultancy of $2m (sh5.2b) for a design renovating Yumbe and Kayunga hospitals.
Parliament has delayed to sanction a loan request of $41m (sh106.6b) which government wants to do major rehabilitation for the two hospitals which are in a sorry state.
The money will be borrowed from the Arab Bank For Economic Development (BADEA), OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) and Saudi Fund for Development (SFD)
Bufumbira North MP Nzeyimana Kamara said, “Our report was rejected in the plenary because of this consultancy fee of 2m dollars. This amount is too much since the project is not about building new hospitals but repairing the existing ones.”
Busongora North MP William Nzoghu wondered why the ministry of health does not use its technical staff to do the work and opt to hire private firms to do the design.
But the ministry of health official, Tom Alit, explained that their engineers do not have adequate capacity to do the work.
Kween County MP Fadhil Chemaswet said, “Two million dollars is too much for just consultancy. We should not endorse the loan request until we are satisfied that the money will not be misused.”
Kenneth Omona, who is also the chairman for the health committee, proposed that research is done to ascertain whether consultancy of 2m dollars is not too much for repairing just two hospitals.
The Ntenjeru North (Kayunga) MP Amos Lugoloobi, who is also the chairman for the budget committee, appealed to his colleagues to endorse the loan.
“Let us forgive these people for the weaknesses and pass this loan to salvage the two hospitals which are so dilapidated so that we can save the lives of Ugandans,” Lugoloobi argued.
The chairman for the parliament finance committee, Robert Kasule Ssebunya, who is also the MP for Kyadondo North, said, “We need to approve this loan because it has delayed for two years. The two hospitals are severely sick. “
On the 2m dollars for consultancy, Kasule said, “It is not a lot since hospitals require specialized buildings and the consultants will be doing the work for four years.”
The committee chairman Xavier Kyooma said, “Since the consultants will be involved from the beginning to the end of the project, 2m dollars is within the limit. We shall therefore present our report to the plenary on Tuesday and request the house to approve the loan.”