, NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 7 – The refurbishment of Parliament’s debating chambers is now set to be concluded in March next year.
Completion of the Sh949 million works was due in April last year but was delayed owing to a tendering dispute, according to Kefa Osoro from the Ministry of Public Works.
Project managers assured the Parliamentary Budget Committee and the Parliamentary Service Commission during a tour of the debating chamber that it would be ready before the House resumes sittings after the Christmas break.
The Budget Committee chairman Elias Mbau raised concern that the facelift had delayed for over one year and there was no indication when the renovation would be completed.
It has also emerged that the delivery of 352 seats, currently being built by the Kenya Prisons Department should be done by February.
Osoro said the delay was caused by the additional works like the studio, and the switching room. The increase in the number of the seats was also part of the reasons.
Each of the seats will cost Sh200,000 against an initial price tag of Sh400,000.
House Speaker Kenneth Marende, National Assembly Clerk Patrick Gichohi and Osoro said that even with those variations, the overall cost of the project will not be adjusted upwards.
Gwassi MP John Mbadi and his Rangwe counterpart Martin Ogindo questioned how the work can increase, without a variation in the cost.
The chamber will have state-of-the-art broadcasting equipment plus electronic voting gadgets, to make it easy for MPs to participate in the proceedings from the comfort of their seats.