Parliament Raises Red Flag on Queen Chambers

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In short
Uganda Radio Network has learnt that Meera Investments Limited, the managers of the building had, as part of their bid documents, a letter from the Ministry of Works, clearing it for occupancy. However, the inspection team questioned the clearance on grounds that it could not be occupied in its present state.

Parliament has written to the Ministry of Works, seeking technical advice on the state of occupancy of Queen Chambers, owned by city businessman, Sudhir Ruparelia.

Queen Chambers is among the three buildings that were recently shortlisted by Parliament to provide office space for Members of Parliament and staff. It previously housed the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs along parliamentary Avenue.

However, a four-man inspection team appointed to review bids for acquisition of office space raised red lights after an inspection exercise of the buildings. The team led by the Sergeant at Arms, Ahmed Kagoye, inspected Queen Chambers last week and found that the toilets were stained and the drainage system was poor.

Uganda Radio Network has learnt that Meera Investments Limited, the managers of the building had, as part of their bid documents, a letter from the Ministry of Works, clearing it for occupancy.  However, the inspection team questioned the clearance on grounds that it could not be occupied in its present state.


The inspection team also questioned how the same building was cleared for occupancy yet one of the reasons it was vacated by the Ministry of Justice last year was reportedly due to its visible cracks.

Parliament has now written to the Works ministry to give an explanation regarding the technical advice on the said building.

A source told URN that Queen Chambers has a higher chance of being awarded the contract due to its proximity to the Parliament building and offers the lowest cost rate. The other bid submitted by Yampe Limited is said to be too costly while the third bidder is far from Parliament.

The Parliamentary Commission invited bids for the provision of office space for Members of Parliament in June as it moves to end the office crisis at the main parliamentary buildings.

In the bids, the commission stated that the buildings should be in close proximity to parliament building and not more than 400meters from parliament House.

Other requirements set by the Commission are provision of well ventilated, tiled floor and newly painted walls, paved or tarmac parking space, premises adequately secured and well lit, standby power, well-functioning sanitary facilities and others.

The others include access facilities for persons with disabilities, adequate space for reception area and a visitor's parlor, among others.  

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.