Uganda: Three MPs to Share Office as Space Crisis Bites

Due to shortage of office space at Parliament, three MPs will have to share an office, authorities have said.

Information available to Daily Monitor indicates MPs have been asked to "group themselves into threes" and submit their names to respective party whips for allocation.

At the weekend, Parliament authorities sent a message to all MPs, 428 in number, asking them to make groups of three before applying for office space at Parliament.

"Dear Colleague, you are kindly requested to group yourselves in threes and submit [your names] to Office of Government Chief Whip on Monday [May] 23 for office allocation. Thanks for bearing with us... .." the message reads in part.

Special consideration

Out-going Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa said at the weekend "special consideration will be made for the MPs with disabilities and Parliamentary Commissioners", adding that for others, "We are all equal, even a chairperson. We shall share until government finds more space for Parliament".

Ms Hellen Kawesa, the deputy communications director at Parliament, asked members to be "patient and understanding" pointing out that under the current circumstances, every MP cannot have a personal office and that even those with leadership positions or committee chairs will be asked to share if need arises.

Some MPs who spoke to Daily Monitor at the weekend but requested not to be named for fear of being labelled "greedy" were uncomfortable with the sharing arrangement.

Parliament currently has 428 MPs but the number is expected to surge as the President is expected to appoint ministers outside Parliament.

There are also some pending elections for Women MPs in new districts that have already been approved.

Last week President Museveni he was unapologetic for the big Parliament, urging it is a channel through which marginalised groups can be liberated.

Mr Thomas Tayebwa (Ruhinda North), last week said that whereas it was unfortunate to share offices some of them were ready to deliver even if it meant "working from under trees or corridors of Parliament".

Other members including Mr Paul Amoru (Dokolo North) have asked the in-coming Parliamentary Commission to expedite arrangements to rent office space.

Necessary

The number of Parliamentary representatives has been surging with the creation of new districts and municipal councils.

However, last week President Museveni told MPs after the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker that he was unapologetic of the large Parliament because it allows marginalised groups to be represented. He said space issues would be sorted.

Source: The Monitor

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