Cats takeover Parliament canteen as fight over Shs 8bn food deal escalates

On any given day, the Parliamentary canteen is a place where MPs meet to discuss anything ranging from matters political, social and economic.

It is also here that the lawmakers host their constituents for affordable meals.

To the shock of MPs returning from the Christmas break ahead of this week’s reconvening of Parliament, the canteen is no longer the hospitable place they left as the broke off last December.

Cats freely roam the place following the Canteen’s closure with Parliament now embroiled in a litigation battle with Hellenar’s restaurant whose contract to run the canteen was terminated.

The Parliamentary Commission, Parliament’s policy and administrative arm had recommended for the renewal of the two year contract to Hellenar’s restaurant worth Shs 8 billion but Parliament’s contracts committee procured a new service provider.

When the proprietors of Hellenar’s restaurant learnt their contract had instead been award to Romeo’s restaurant, they ran to court which has slapped an order that will keep the canteen indefinitely closed.

The bar area of the Parliament canteen

The battle started in June last year when Hellenar’s restaurant petitioned the Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige for an administrative review which only resulted in a contract extension that expired on December 31, 2018.

While they expected to continue working as they await the settlement of their legal battle, the Sergeant-at-arms of Parliament Ahmed Kagoye turned employees of Hellenar’s restaurant last week as they reported for work.