Kenyan MPs to build ksh110 million tunnel to avoid beggars


The construction of a Sh110 million tunnel to protect MPs from intrusive constituents has aleady began.

The tunnel will link Parliament with County Hall and the MPs’ Sh5.8 billion office block across the road.

MPs have on several occasions complained to parliamentary leadership of being accosted by their supporters and strangers outside Parliament for financial and other assistance.

This means Kenyans with the habit of camping at the entry of Parliament in the hope of bumping into their MP for assistance will have to devise other ways.

Parliamentary Service Commission secretary also said the tunnel was one of the measures undertaken by Parliament to reduce traffic in the area when the 27-storey office block is built.

“Whenever vehicles cross at the same level, like on roundabouts, serious congestion is witnessed,” said Mr Nyegenye.

“The tunnel is mainly meant for access of vehicles to the basement parking in the building under construction,” said Mr Nyegenye.

“The building, when completed, will provide parking for 400 vehicles.”

The study done on the project recommended that vehicles enter the main Parliament through the entrance opposite County Hall and then enter the tunnel near the staff canteen and cross Harambee Avenue underground to the first basement.

The vehicles will then exit the basement parking on the southern end of the building, which is the side that overlooks Haile Selassie Avenue.
Once completed, the multi-million-shilling tunnel will not only insulate the 416 legislators but also ease their movement around Parliament precincts — the main Parliament Building, County Hall and the multi-storey office complex whose cost has since been varied to almost Sh9 billion.

Mr Nyegenye said Parliament would provide ducts within the tunnel for linking the related buildings, mainly carrying power, data and voice services.

However, Mr Barasa Nyukuri, a governance expert, said the timing of the construction was wrong as there were more important projects to be undertaken by the government.

“This project is shrouded in luxury because it is an issue of class,” said Mr Nyukuri.

“The funds allocated would have served a good purpose if they were channelled to finance something like a state-of-the-art library or employ resource persons to aid MPs in legislative research work.”

Mr Nyegenye said during the design of the multi-storey office block, a traffic study was undertaken on the roads around Parliament.

It established that it was necessary to separate the entry and exit of vehicles to the basement parking due to the size of the building and the amount of traffic that will be generated.

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