A follow up story on the office controversy developing at parliament
The Leader of Opposition in parliament,, Nandala Mafabi, has sparked off fresh controversy, by vowing to take on government and the parliamentary authority, if they allocate office space at Baumann house to MPs.
Mafabi says the move to take on Baumann house will fleece tax payers of a lot of money that could be used to rent alternative space that is cheaper than the Baumann rate. He also says the move is against the advice given early this month, by the PPDA which refused to offer a waiver to the parliamentary commission when they recently requested for it.
Parliament was recently hit by an office space crisis, with many MPs fighting for space and refusing to share. The development forced the administration at parliament to allocate office space at Baumann which has been used since 2006 but whose contract expired.
On asking for a renewal, the owners of Baumann house shocked parliament when they slapped a rent increment of four dollars per square meter effective July 1st. And because of the desperation that parliament finds itself in currently, they are rushing to look for alternative accommodation within town.
The few rooms within the parliamentary chambers are not enough to accommodate the large numbers of MPs of the ninth parliament.
But Mafabi who by virtue of being leader of opposition is a member of the parliamentary commission, has written to the Clerk of Parliament, Aeneas Tandekwire, opposing a number of the decisions that the administration has taken to get accommodation for the MPs.
In his letter, Mafabi demands that no action must be taken until the controversial matter is discussed by a new commission and a decision arrived at. He also opposes any decision by parliament to discuss payments of large amounts of money to Baumann house, saying alternative houses can be got within town at a much cheaper cost.
Mafabi estimates that parliament paid up to seven million dollars to rent Baumann House for five years. He argues that such an amount of money could actually buy a new building for MPs’ offices.He also argues that instead of the rush, MPs should share accommodation, while waiting for officers of the president’s office to vacate their current office to occupy the new twin presidential office.
The Clerk to parliament, Tandekwire, refused to comment on the matter saying he wa too busy.
However, the public relations officer for PPDA, Dorah Egunyu, said on Wednsday that they stand by their refusal to allow parliament seek a waiver to the rules and methods of acquiring space for offices for the new MPs.
The PPDA had intended to go for direct sourcing contract to renew the Baumann House contract instead of open bidding that would bring in more alternatives to vet from.
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