Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga plans to waive a requirement for a mandatory certificate of Financial Implication, to allow legislators present private members bills. Kadaga accuses the Ministry of Finance of using the requirement to deliberately frustrate private bills.
Parliament Rules of Procedure provide that all bills introduced in the house shall be accompanied by a Certificate of Financial Implication issued by the Finance Minister, indicating the impact of the Bill on the economy. The certificate also indicates estimates of revenue and expenditure over the period of not less than two years after the coming into effect of the bill.
However, Kadaga says that she intends to evoke the powers of her office to allow Bunya East MP Waira Kyewalabye Majegere and Kassanda North MP Patrick Nsamba Oshabe to present the National Graduate Service Bill and the Local Content Bill respectively without the required certificates.
The constitution requires that the member moving the private member’s bill be afforded reasonable assistance from the department of Government whose area of operation the bill affects and by the office of the Attorney General. However, the government has in the past forced private members bills off the floor of Parliament for various reasons.
In 2015, National Resistance Movement (NRM) party MPs blocked a request by the then Buikwe South MP, D Lulume Bayiga to table a Private Members’ Bill on Presidential Transition. The Bill sought to, among other things, make provisions for the procedure and ceremony for the assumption of the office of the President.
However, the majority NRM MPs denied Bayiga a chance to present the Bill while the then-deputy Attorney General, Fred Ruhindi and then minister for Lands Daudi Migereko, argued that the issue was under discussion within the Inter-Party Organisation for Dialogue (IPOD).
Recently, efforts by Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze to present the Alcohol Control Bill were frustrated when she was advised to work with the government to come up with another bill. The proposed Minimum Wage Bill by Worker’s MP Arinaitwe Rwakajara was also delayed due to the financial implications involved.
In 2015, Ayivu County MP Bernard Atiku’s Children Amendment Bill was passed after a long struggle with the government which at some point tabled a parallel draft with similar contents. Both bills were sent to the Gender Committee before it was agreed to proceed with Atiku’s Bill.