Kampala, Uganda | URN | Parliament is looking for a special office space for the former Speaker and Kamuli Woman Member of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga following her exit from the Office of the Speaker.
Kadaga has over the past 20 years occupied the office of the Deputy Speaker and that of the Speaker of Parliament. But she has now vacated the office of the speaker after losing the seat to her former deputy Jacob Oulanyah, who was backed by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party.
Although all MPs get office spaces, they lose the same when they are appointed ministers on the assumption that they will then be using the space in government ministries. But as parliament starts allocating space to MPs, this publication has learnt that a special office space is being arranged for the former Speaker, who does not have an office in Parliament at the moment.
According to information gathered from Parliament, the office of the Clerk to Parliament is working to get Kadaga a spacious office that befits her status as a former Speaker. A source told this publication that they are looking for a spacious room even though it will not have all the amenities in the previous office.
Initially, Ms. Kadaga had an entire floor with a visitors’ waiting room, a boardroom, washrooms, and offices of the experts at the Speakers office among others. “She is a former Speaker, and we cannot just give her office space like any other MP or even ask her to share an office with other people. In fact, we are looking at getting a self-contained room if possible,” the source said.
Most of the MPs offices are not self-contained, and many MPs have been sharing rooms. Only a few offices at the precincts of Parliament like that of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker, the Leader of Opposition and Leader of Government Business in Parliament among others have washrooms. Larger offices are usually occupied by the chairpersons of committees and their deputies.
Parliament has rented Sudhir Ruparelia’s Kingdom Kampala Building to provide office space to 323 Members of Parliament, while the rest will be divided between the Parliament building and Queen’s chambers. But the party whips are yet to allocate offices to the members.
When contacted on the matter, Chris Obore, Parliament’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs (CPA) said that Kadaga is entitled to an office just like any other MP. He says however this could change if she gets appointed in Cabinet.
“Of course if she is appointed Minister, she will sit in the Ministry like all the other Ministers, it is only with the exemption of being appointed as chief whip then you retain an office in Parliament. But if you are appointed Vice President, then you will have an office of the Vice President,” he says.