Sunday, August 19, 2012
INSTEAD OF A NEW CHAMBER GOVERNMENT SHOULD SEE HOW TO REDUCE PARLIAMENT NUMBERS
Parliament seeks sh200 billion for new chambers By Henry Sekanjako Parliament is seeking for Sh 200 billion for the construction of new Parliamentary chambers to accommodate the increasing numbers of Members of Parliament. The sh200 billion is contained under the unfunded priorities of the parliamentary commission for the financial year 2012/ 2013. “We want these funds through regular funding. The current chambers were designed to accommodate only 80 MPs but now we have close to 400 MPs occupying the chambers,” said parliamentary Commissioner Chris Baryomunsi. The parliamentary commission members led by commissioner Jaria Bintu were on Wednesday appearing before the parliamentary committee on legal and parliamentary affairs to defend the commissions’ budget estimates for financial year 2012/2013. According to the deputy Clerk of parliament in charge of administrative services, Kaija-Kwamya, the construction of the new chambers would take three years should the commission be provided with all the required funds. “We want Sh 20 billion annually for the next five years or so to be provided in our budget towards the construction of new chambers. If this is done, we may not need to borrow,” said Kaija also informed the committee that government had directed parliament to vacate Bauman house by May 31, 2013 and shift to development house to avoid renting. “The prime minister wrote to the speaker of parliament saying government would not renew the tenancy agreement for Bauman house and that it would avail development house as office space for MPs currently using Bauman house,” added Commissioner Emmanuel Ddombo. However the commission expressed concern over the limited space at development house saying it would not be enough to accommodate the over 150 MPs at Bauman house. “At development house there is space for only 83 MPs yet there are over 150 MPs at Bauman house with some sharing office space while others operating in corridors , if we shift to development house, 67 MPs will have no office space,” noted Kaija.