We Can’t Afford Sheraton Prices, MPs Refuse to Legislate over Free Parliament Food

A section of Members of Parliament have vowed not to allow business to resume unless their lunch issue is addressed.

This follows the Court order issued early this week blocking the parliament canteen operations over unfair contract termination of previous service provider (M/s Hellenar’s Restaurant and Bar).

According to Hon James waluswaka, business can’t move on normally at Parliament without food since Mps are not expected to begin roaming on streets looking for food.

“It ironic to see an MP on streets looking for food yet our we have very sensitive issues to handle.” He stated.

Rubaga South’s MP Kato Lubwama said that several lawmakers have no money to buy at Sheraton Hotel, thereby calling upon the responsible stakeholders to fasten the process.

In July 2018, M/s Hellenar’s Restaurant and Bar, a catering service provider at Parliament then lost a new contract bid. The restaurant had been offering foods and drinks service to the MPs and staff at the Parliamentary canteen for close to five years.

However in June, procurement department at parliament announced fresh bids to look for a new service provider to catering services for MPs and staff at the main Parliament building and associated locations on framework for two years.  This is after the contract of Hellenar’s Restaurant and Bar expired.

This emerged during the open domestic bidding process, Hellenar’s Restaurant and Bar lost the bid to M/s Romeo’s Restaurant and Bar Limited that emerged the best evaluated bidder something that Hellenar’s Restaurant protested and challenged the entire process in court.

According to the Best Evaluated Bidder Notice issued by Okello Obabaru, Deputy Clerk in charge of Corporate Affairs, Ntinda based M/s Romeo’s Restaurant and Bar offered lowest price of Shs11,500 for the MPs’ buffet menu, while the only remaining responsive bidder, M/s Hellenar’s Restaurant and Bar offered Shs13,500.

Whereas Hellenar’s Restaurant and Bar had become famous for serving delicious local dishes, things started falling apart after MPs alleged that there is fear that wrong people are taking advantage of lax administration to poison them.

In March 2018, Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal, also parliamentary commissioner tasked MPs to take keen interests in the administration of the environment of parliament, adding that it was glaring that some elements are targeting MPs through poisoning.

“The issue of food poisoning or poisoning is not new in this parliament. There are times when reports were officially made to the Speaker for attempted poisoning of some members. That matter was shelved for they thought it would embarrass the image of parliament, but however much it embarrasses us, let’s talk about it,” Ogwal who is a senior legislator said.

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