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Opposition tables Constitution Amendment Bill

Constitution Amendment Bill. PHOTO via @pwatchug

✳ Remove of army  representation
✳ Restrict Ministers to 21
✳ Repeal office of RDCs
✳ Repeal office of Prime Minister
✳ Reinstate Presidential term limits
✳ Involve judiciary in appointing Electoral Commission member

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Opposition has tabled the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

Bukoto East MP Florence Namayanja presented the Bill for its first reading on behalf of the Shadow Attorney-General Wilfred Niwagaba in a parliament sitting chaired by Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.

Kadaga referred the Bill to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee chaired by West Budama South MP Jacob Oboth for perusal and report back to parliament within 45 days stipulated under the Parliament Rules of Procedure.

Speaking to Uganda Radio Network this week, Niwagaba said that the Bill seeks to introduce a raft of constitutional reforms that are necessary to usher in effective democratic governance.

The Bill among others seeks to scrap the representation of the army in Parliament, repeal the office of Prime Minister, reinstate presidential term limits and prohibit the appointment of Ministers from among Members of Parliament.

It also seeks to provide for the involvement of the Parliamentary Commission in the appointment of the Clerk to Parliament; the involvement of the Judicial Service Commission in the appointment of members of the Electoral Commission, the qualification of the EC Chairperson and the grounds for disqualification of members of the EC.

The Bill has earlier faced hurdles and the most recent being a stalemate between the Opposition and the government side following refusal by the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija to issue a Certificate of Financial Implication in order for Niwagaba to proceed with its tabling.

The impasse was broken by Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah who directed the Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige to gazette the Bill since the 60 days set by the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 had elapsed following Niwagaba’s application through the Clerk to Parliament for a certificate.

Section 76 (4) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 2015 provides that a Certificate of Financial Implication shall be deemed to have been issued after 60 days from the date of request of the certificate.

This section also highlighted in the Parliament Rules of Procedure mainly allows Private Members’ Bills to be presented before Parliament if the Certificate of Financial Implication is not issued within the set timeline.

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