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.