Friday, November 2, 2012

IT IS UNACCEPTABLE MOVING THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION FROM DEVELOPMENT HOUSE TO POST OFFICE BUILDING

I witnessed the Ministry of Education & Sports transfer from Crested Towers to Development House. I saw the partitioning of offices being done. It must have cost many millions of shillings, a lot of furniture must have got damaged in the process and surely, some documentation ought to have gone missing in the process. Now, someone, in the name of an authority sees it best for the Ministry to move to where the prime Ministers’ office is located. I think this is madness. What is involved is loss of documents; damage to furniture, partitioning once again, and all being done to give way to the members of Parliament to move in! This is an acceptable. The MPs can instead shift to Post Office Building. Why do their offices necessarily have to be at Development House? Uganda, is a real funny country. It is said that the President’s office will not re-locate to the new twin towers! Why not have the MPs occupy the office blocks instead? It is wastage of tax payer money and possibly creating areas where to eat from. Uganda may have been cursed, otherwise, it is like some decision makers are simply expired. The Ministry of Education should only shift from the current offices when going to own home. William Kituuka MINISTRY OF EDUCATION TO BE RELOCATED By Moses Walubiri & Paul Kiwuwa Members of parliament having office space on Bauman House are set to relocate to Development House in a move that will see parliament save sh2b in annual rent. The relocation which is expected to be effected next year follows President Yoweri Museveni’s preference for his office to continue occupying the western wing of parliament, instead of relocating it the twin towers adjacent to parliament. “The president has notified parliament that his office will continue occupying the Western wing of parliament even after the completion of the new office blocks,” Chairman legal and parliamentary Affairs, Stephen Tashobya said during an interface with the parliamentary commission yesterday. The meeting attended by the Clerk to parliament, Jane Kibirige, was meant to chart a way out of Bauman House without running the risk of leaving 146 MPs with no offices. “The president’s office occupying Development House has not been clear when they will vacate the premises. We need to be certain about this so that we can plan to renovate the premises in readiness for relocation of MPs,” Kibirige said, as she appealed for the extension of the current contract with Bauman Hose for another year to allow a smooth relocation. MPs, however, heard that the relocation hinges on the completion of the twin towers where the 12 ministries in office of the Prime Minister (OPM) are expected to relocate from Postal building. In a recent letter by secretary in office of the president, Tecla Kinalwa, to the permanent secretary in OPM, Pius Bigirimana, the twin towers are expected to be completed in January 2013. The Parliamentary Commission had sought to have the 84 offices occupied by office of the president and the Vice president be turned into offices for MPs renting office space at Bauman House. The president, however, directed that ministry of education and some of his staff occupying Development House be relocated to Postal Building to create space for MPs’ offices. According to Tashobya, 146 MPs have office space at Bauman House while 104 offices are expected to be available ounce the relocation is effected. Parliament started renting office space at Bauman in the eight parliaments as the number of MPs swelled. In the ninth parliament, only 104 out of 375 MPs have office space at parliament and many of them are sharing. Parliament expends $60,000 a month ($720,000 a year) on renting Bauman House. Government ministries and departments spend an estimated sh50b on renting premises annually, which has forced parliament to pass a resolution demanding ministries to be housed in government buildings. GOVERNMENT DIRECTS EDUCATION MINISTRY TO LEAVE BUILDING Posted by SHEILA NATURINDA Tuesday, August 21 2012 at 01:00 Government has evicted the Ministry of Education from Development House as a trade-off for one of the Parliamentary wings which President Museveni has refused to vacate. An official communication explaining new accommodation arrangements which have affected a number of government departments, and which was sent out from the Office of the Prime Minister, indicates that the ministry should be out of its present premises on Parliament Avenue by next month. Development House has four floors which house Ministry of Education and some sections of the Office of the President like the Ministry of Economic Monitoring and National Resistance Movement political offices. A June 28 letter signed by Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi to Parliament, states that Mr Museveni’s staff will not shift from the Parliamentary premises they presently occupy as had earlier been requested by Parliament now that the Chinese government have built two tall towers as a donation to house the Office of the President. “Parliament has requested the President’s office to vacate the West Wing of Parliamentary buildings to create room for MPs. I am writing to inform you that the President will not shift as requested for the reasons he gave you,” reads part of the letter which was received by Parliament on July 2. Sources within Parliament indicated to this newspaper that when they met Mr Museveni he said “from an ideological point of view he couldn’t have his office sit in a donated building.” According to Mr Mbabazi, Development House has 83 offices which means Parliament will have more space compared to what is available in the West Wing which has 78 office spaces. In the new office space allocations, Vice President Edward Ssekandi, his ministers and presidential advisers will occupy one of the Chinese-built towers while the Office of the Prime Minister enters the second tower. All government agencies evicted from Development House are to prepare to move into Postal Building where the Office of the Prime Minster has been located, while others will squeeze into whatever available space in Embassy House next door. Postal Building belongs to the Post Office and government rents it. Minister Maria Kiwanuka yesterday told Parliament that she had also asked Ministry of Agriculture to return to their Entebbe home instead of spending huge sums of money renting space in Kampala. Ministry of Education spokesperson Charles Kitonsa was surprised by news that they have been evicted when reached for comment. “Where are we going? Do you know you are telling me news? Maybe you call our PS,” he said. When this newspaper contacted Education PS Francis Xavier Lubanga, his secretary said media matters are handled by the Under Secretary. When contacted, the Under Secretary’s secretary, was equally bemused saying it was news to her ears. By press time there was no comment from Education. The PM’s letter wasn’t copied to Ministry of Education, probably the reason none of the officers there was aware of their new circumstances. The Premier nonetheless copied the letter to the ministries of Finance, Works and Presidency. Currently, Parliament rents office space for 150 MPs at the privately-owned Baumann House. But this is still not enough room, a situation which sees several of 375 MPs forced to share offices at Parliament Building.

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