By Max Patrick Ocaido
Finasi/Roko SPV Limited, the contractor of the Lubowa Specialised Hospital will on August 12, 2019 hold a scheduled meeting with officials from Ministry of Health days after the officials and MPs were blocked from visiting the construction site.
On Tuesday, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, Health PS Diana Atwine and MPs sitting on the committee on National Economy were blocked from accessing the site in a bid to carry out their oversight role. The contractor later described the incident as incident, saying that it was caused by the lack of appropriate notification to the SPV regarding the intended visit.
In order to ensure that the contractor is aware when any visitors will be visiting the site so that appropriate arrangements are made, the Ministry of Health has designed a schedule for site meetings to which the contractor-Finasi/Roko and the Lenders’ Technical Advisor have agreed on.
According to this schedule, the next meeting between Finasi/Roko and Ministry of Health will be held on August 12, 2019. A source says that it is from this scheduled meeting that the parties will agreed on the tour visit by the MPs to play their oversight role.
Similarly, Finasi/Roko, Chief Operating Officer Simone Palmieri on August 07, wrote to Dr. Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, expressing discontent with breach of the Project Works Investment Agreement (PWIA) after Health ministry officials and MPs ‘illegally’ attempted to access the site without notifying the contractor.
In the letter, the contractor urged Ministry of Health officials to abide by the contractual obligation and standard industry practice for construction sites.
“Having handed over the site to the SPV on 10, June 2019, you are required to notify us of any intended visit on site to enable us make the necessary arrangements. Therefore, we are confused and indeed concerned why unscheduled visitors access the site when it was handed over to the SPV some time ago,” Simone said in his letter to Dr. Atwine.
“In addition to the contractual requirement to provide reasonable notice, accepted industry practice regarding construction site is that health and safety measures must always be sufficiently adhered to for all persons on the site, including visitors. On the site, there is heavy moving machinery and equipment, open trenches among others which are all potentially harmful to human life if not well managed…”
Simone adds that the decision to dispatch unauthorized persons to the site and refusal to notify the contractor of the intended visit is contrary to clause 14 of the project works investment agreement which requires notice to the SPV prior to any site visit.
“Your conduct in respect of unauthorized visits to site has caused great inconvenience and embarrassment to the distinguished government officials who were expecting admission to the site and to the SPV which has been made to appear unreasonable, ill-prepared and acting in bad faith. We accordingly reserve the right to hold you responsible in respect of any negative repercussions, loss or damage the SPV may suffer as a result of you neglect/refusal to give the required notice,” the letter reads.