• May 24, 2024
  • Last Update May 24, 2024 11:03 AM
  • Nairobi

Ruto opens Bunge Tower, expresses reservations over size of rooms

Politics

By Peter Ochieng

President William Ruto on Thursday officially opened the Bunge Tower in Nairobi.

Ruto expressed reservations over the size of rooms earmarked for Members of Parliament (MPs) committee meetings, stating that they are too small.

The Head of State wondered whether some committee members will be forced to stand, during meetings.

“I thought that committee members are more than this, then how do you transact business if the membership is full house?” paused the President.

National Assembly Speaker Moses Masika Wetang’ula in response, said rooms allocated for committee meetings were large enough to serve the intended purpose. 

The Bunge Tower was initially expected to cost Sh5.8 billion, but by the time of completion, the cost had hit Sh9.6 billion. 

Conceived middle of 2009, Bunge Tower is the culmination of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC’s) vision to modernize Parliament by addressing office space limitations and to accommodate the increased Bicameral Parliament of 349 Members of the National Assembly and 67 Members of the Senate.

It is a 28-storey building.

According to Parliament.go.ke, the Bunge Tower’s architectural design was inspired by the Shield emblem of Parliament. 

The shield represents strength, resilience, and the collective identity of diverse communities coming together, under one banner for the greater good.

The Bunge Tower boasts of 331 dedicated offices for Members of both Houses of Parliament (National Assembly and Senate), and 26 committee rooms.

The 26 committee rooms are hosted on the first, second, third and fifth floors all fitted with advanced audio visual and conference management systems.

In addition, four committee rooms will be fitted with cutting edge video conference facilities to enable remote presentation of evidence to committees.

The first floor houses the ultra-modern Parliament Library which was established in 1910. The library is equipped with a vast collection of 50,000 documents, reports, Standing Orders, books, Hansard, Sets of Laws of Kenya, Bills, Acts of Parliament, Auditor General Reports and Policy papers.

The office block building comprises four basements, twenty-seven floors, 2 vehicular and pedestrian tunnels and an access building in main Parliament.

The first, second and third basements have the parking, stores and offices. The Tower provides a total of 350 parking slots. The pedestrian tunnel will link the building to the main Parliament.

The 6th to 22nd floors of the building will host 331 offices for Members.

Bunge Tower has designated two restaurant spaces and a fully equipped kitchen. The Tower also has a gym.

To comply with the Parliamentary Service Commission’s commitment to embrace Green Compliant Parliament, the Bunge Tower incorporates a rainwater harvesting system with a 184,000 litres capacity, alongside solar water heating panels on the 27th floor.

For ease of movement six main lifts have been put in place to serve the Tower, one goods’ lift, four lifts serving the committee room floors and two lifts serving the main Parliament access building and 6 escalators serving ground floor up to 3rd Floor.

To address the needs of people with disabilities, the building has put in place wheelchair ramps at the access points.

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