Politics and policy
Parliament to build 26-storey office block
Posted Sunday, June 3 2012 at 22:30
Parliament plans to build an ultra-modern office block at an estimated cost of Sh5 billion to house the expanded 418-member legislature that will be in office after next year’s General Election.
The Clerk of the National Assembly, Patrick Gichohi, said construction work to begin in the financial year starting next month will take three years to complete.
“We have factored in the budget Sh500 million to start the works after the Treasury and the Parliamentary Service Commission gave approvals,” Mr Gichohi said.
Tenders will be floated as soon as the Ministry of Public Works concludes the designs. “For now we cannot tell the total cost of the construction but it will take substantial resources,” he said.
Estimates of recurrent and development expenditure of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) for the next three years shows that a further Sh1.5 billion and Sh1.9 billion has been earmarked for construction of the office block.
The PSC, which is chaired by Speaker Kenneth Marende, presented a Sh18.1 billion budget to the Treasury out of which Sh13.9 billion will go towards recurrent expenditure and Sh4.2 billion for development.
“The estimates have considered provisions for Bicameral House and resources allocated accordingly for the planned activities.
"Resources have also been allocated for the anticipated structural and administrative realignments in the overall organisational structure in the Parliamentary Service,” said Marende in the budget estimates due for approval by the House this week.
The commission has also set aside Sh700 million for the refurbishment of the Old Chamber that will be converted into the Senate Chambers.
The proposed 26-storey building will be erected on a one-acre plot between Continental House and County Hall in Nairobi where MPs already have offices. The plot was allocated to Parliament by the government in 2000.
Mr Gichohi said the building will accommodate the bi-cameral parliament — the Senate and National Assembly — by creating additional committee rooms and other facilities.
“The expanded Parliament of 350 MPs and 68 Senators requires us to erect a building to provide them with working space,” Mr Gichohi said. Continental House which houses MPs offices was a bank.
In addition to the proposed building, the National Assembly plans to acquire Protection House from the Ministry of Housing at a cost of Sh1.2 billion.