Parliament will rent space on Kingdom Kampala building at Shillings 18 billion to accommodate some members of parliament for two years as they wait for the completion of the new chambers.
Helen Kawesa, Assistant Director Communications and Public Affairs (CPA) in parliament, says 323 of the 529 members of parliament in the 11th Parliament will be housed in one of the wings of the Kingdom Kampala building. The remaining 206 MPs will remain in the Parliamentary main building, Queens’s chambers and development House.
The main building mainly houses committee chairpersons, their vice, office of the Speaker and Deputy, and the 20 departments of Parliament. About 100 MPs are housed at the main Parliament building.
Kawesa says that parliament will spend Shillings 800 million on rent monthly renting space on the Kingdom Kampala building. The figure translates to Shillings 9 billion per year and Shillings 18 billion for two years, which is the projected timeframe for the completion of the new Parliamentary chambers.
The Shillings 206 billion chambers being constructed by ROKO is expected to host 600 members of parliament. The building was meant to be completed early this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic affected the construction works.
According to Kawesa, by hiring Kingdom Kampala, space will now be adequate for MPs as they await the completion of the Parliamentary chambers. “We will have adequate space for all MPs, they have been sharing offices, and it is expected that each MP can now have their own space.” She said.
Kawesa says that renting the apartment was the last option and Kingdom Kampala emerged as the best-evaluated bidder in a competitive process. The MPs are supposed to move in a mid-next month when the offices are fully furnished for occupation. The procurement of furniture is currently ongoing.
In its budget for the financial year 2021/2022, Parliament approved Shillings 13 billion for rent of office space at the Kingdom Kampala building. This means that Shillings 9 billion will be used for the forthcoming financial year, while the remaining four billion can be used to pay rent for other premises or it could be used for the next rent of 2022/2023 financial year.
Kingdom Kampala building is located along Nile Avenue and is about 400 meters from the Parliamentary building. In October 2019, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) was on the spot after it planned to spend Shillings 200 million monthly on rent on the same building.
The commission backtracked from renting the premises despite serious lobbying by the Kingdom Kampala owners. This was affected further by the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the commission’s budget drastically cut.