EDITORâ€”The media has been awash with reports that Parliament has turned the green park between Kampala Serena Hotel and Parliament into a car park. NTV opened the reports, before newspapers took it up.
There have been commentaries and soon the issue will be taken up by environmentalists.
However, blame for the changed use of the green park should not be directed on Parliament and MPs.
The green park on Shimoni Road is under the jurisdiction of Kampala City Council, which paid for the beautiful Commonwealth monument there on top of maintaining the grounds. It should be noted that Police personnel, who have sometimes appeared in pictures in the media, do not control access to these grounds but rather to the adjacent Parliament North Wing Parking Yard.
Parliament Building has parking space in its precincts â€“ North Wing (Opposite National Theatre), South Wing (through the Parliament Main Gate on Parliament Avenue), and at Baumann House, rented by Parliament.
Vehicles belonging to MPs and staff in the parliamentary service were issued with parking stickers to enable them access any of the parking provided in the precincts of Parliament.
Although our parking space may not be adequate, MPs and staff are advised to leave their vehicles at home and share transport when possible.
Parliament strives to maintain a green environment as exhibited by the plant life around the Parliament Building.
Despite inadequacies in space (for vehicle parking and other purposes), Parliament has not at any time thought of changing land use and turning the beautiful lawn in its precincts for purposes that endanger the environment.We wish to ask our friends in the media to always seek the right information from the right people before publications.
Mohammed Katamba Senior Information Officer Parliament of Uganda
Parliament is mindful of environmentâ€™s importance