Speaker cautions on creation of new districts – as construction of new chambers starts
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has cautioned government against the creation of more districts and administrative units, saying that they overstraining Parliament.
The Speaker was today speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new chambers of Parliament.
“I hope we have reached a bar of creating new districts and constituencies and this will give an opportunity for member’s to work with comfort,” Kadaga said.
She expressed concerns over the rising number of members saying that with the 500 seater, there is no need for stretching beyond.
Kadaga said the current plan was projected in the eighth Parliament when the House had less than 200 members.
To date, Parliament houses 431 members with the number expected to surge higher.
The Speaker also decried long bureaucratic tendencies that have delayed the construction of the new chambers of Parliament.
The Speaker wants provisions in the procurement and tendering process to be reviewed.
“How can you do procurement for over two years? I think we need to review this process,” she said.
The pursuit for new chambers was started in 2015, but Kadaga said that the delay was caused by “saboteurs with ill motives”.
“We need to review the process otherwise we are wasting Ugandans time and opportunities, I hope that in a few years’ time there will be less pressure.” Kadaga added.
The new chamber, which was tendered to ROKO Constructions Ltd will have eight floors and is projected to cost Ugx 287 billion.
Once completed, it will accommodate an archive section, a library, a kitchen, a dining and a press lounge, as well as committee rooms.
It will also have a new members lounge.
“The existing lounge is no longer serving its purposes, it has been turned into a meeting place and members not enjoying such services…it is supposed to be free for their private reading and healthy conversations,” Kadaga said.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Works and Transport Eng Azuba Ntege asked the contractor to ensure compliance with best practices and safety.
Like Eng Ntege, Mr Jacob Oulanyah, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament emphasized the need for quality and asked the contractors to put up a facility that will stand the test of time.
“When the doctors make mistakes, we bury them, but for engineers and architects, everyone leaves to see your mistakes, so ensure a good job,” said Hon Oulanyah.