The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has commended Roko Construction Company for the progress on works to construct the new Parliament Chamber, and advised them to expedite efforts to hit the three year completion mark. The project is estimated to cost a total of shs179 billion.
Kadaga said the new chambers will improve the sitting capacity for Members of Parliament, and create more space for the growing number of legislators.
“When we conceived the project, we considered that Parliament would grow overtime and reach 500 members in another 20 years. But when handing over the site, we had already hit the 400 mark. We hope you will make adjustments to create more space for MPs,” Kadaga said.
She made the remarks after touring the construction site at the Parliament premises on Wednesday, 31 August 2018. She was accompanied by the Leader of the Opposition Hon. Betty Aol Ocan, the first Deputy Prime Minister, Gen. Moses Ali and Parliamentary Commissioners.
The Speaker also tasked Roko to set up a museum on the design plans of the new structure which she said is an integral part of the Parliament’s history, and would tell a story to future generations to come.
“We have visited parliaments where the history is recorded all the way from the 1800’s. We will have to discuss how that history can be incorporated, it should not just be about Speakers and Presidents,” Kadaga said.
The LoP, Hon. Aol Ocan, advised the engineering team to increase the work shifts to catch up with lost time on the project. She also asked that a working area for Opposition MPs be set up to facilitate the work of the Shadow Cabinet.
“We would like space for the Opposition because currently the shadow ministers are scattered, which makes it hard to consolidate their work,” Ocan said.
William Henry Ssentoogo from Ssentoogo and Partners, a private firm contracted to oversee the construction project noted that the building has made 10 per cent progress, and had been slowed by the acquisition of extra land to facilitate the design plan of the new chambers.
“The acquisition of the defunct Sir Apollo Kagwa Road and the Chogm Square posed a challenge and delay. However, now that Parliament has acquired the space, it will improve on design matters especially as regards security,” said Ssentoogo.
He added that Parliament has so far spent shs45 billion on the project, which included among others working with National Water and Sewerage Corporation to relocate the main water line, which process took time.
The Head Engineer of the project, Andy Sonnet, pledged to push the project works to hit the 2020 completion mark saying, “We are putting in all additional effort to consolidate on lost time and clear the work load.”