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Uganda: Govt Plans a Total Overhaul of the Constitution

Photograph: The Observer

President Museveni addressing parliament.

2021: NRM having a look at massive overhaul, NOT Just Museveni age restrict

Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, the minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, says Government plans a complete overhaul of the Structure.

Otafiire said he is working on constituting a Constitution Assessment Commission much like the one Prof Fredrick Ssempebwa headed from 2001 to 2003. The Fee will are looking for Ugandans’ views, write a file that ultimately will information Government in writing a Constitution Modification Bill.

Otafiire, a member of the ruling NRM’s topmost coverage organ, the Central Govt Committee (CEC), announced the overhaul in an interview with The Observer on Tuesday at Parliament, moments after he was once sworn in as an ex-officio MP.

Asked to offer readability on the fast-rising development of NRM politicians campaigning to remove the presidential age restrict, Otafiire stated: “As of now, it is their [campaigners] democratic right to assert what they need however we’re considering hanging a constitutional Evaluation Commission in place so that the Constitution is reviewed in [its totality], NO LONGER in bits,” he mentioned.

Otafiire spoke days after NRM district chairpersons passed Museveni a memorandum on July 13 calling for the removal of article 102(b) of the Constitution that caps the presidential age at Seventy Five. It was once a dinner for the birthday party’s district leaders at Resort Africana in Kampala. (See: NRM break up over Museveni age limit, The Observer July 18).

“It Is A democratic society; people could make proposals, however what we [the government] promised remaining yr when we had been bearing in mind the constitutional amendments used to be the appointment of a constitutional Evaluation Fee,” Otafiire said.

Otafiire used to be one of the ministers who adversarial a identical plot to remove the age limit in cupboard final year. The plot used to be pushed Via a cabinet subcommittee of largely legal professional ministers. (See: First lady foils age limit plot, The Observer March 27, 2015).

“What could be prudent is for folks to attend except a Fee is put in location and it goes around in search of individuals’s views, then they may be able to articulate their interests and make proposals,” Otafiire stated.

He mentioned that after greater than Twenty Years since it was enacted in October 1995, the Structure is due for a Evaluate to determine whether it has stood the check of time.

“After 20 Years, it is due for Amendment [and] as a ministry we’re engaged on it and once we are prepared, we will make our suggestions identified to the u . s .,” Otafiire mentioned.

The Structure used to be first amended in 2005. The amendments were inspired Through the rush to carry the two five-12 months presidential time period limit. Eight years later in 2013, NRM launched any other push to amend just about Sixty Seven % of the Constitution. NRM then constituted a team of legal professionals led Via Amama Mbabazi who was once on the time its secretary Basic and high minister, to study the proposed amendments.

Different individuals of the team were, former Lawyer Normal Khiddu Makubuya, Defence and Veteran Affairs Minister Adolf Mwesige, Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, and Wilfred Niwagaba and Elizabeth Karungi (Kanungu Woman MP).

The workforce by no means received to conclude its challenge after Mbabazi fell out with Museveni and Niwagaba too turned into a sharp critic of the establishment. The amendments then largely targeted 5 legislations; the Political Events and Firms Act, Electoral Commission Act, Parliamentary Elections Act, Presidential Elections Act and local Governments Act, which Executive had wished to amend Within The run-as much as the 2011 elections but may NO LONGER because the proposals would impact the Structure.

NOT CONCLUSIVE

The Primary try and amend the Constitution in 2005 was once NOT concluded as did final yr’s try. Stephen Tashobya, who chaired the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee in each the 8th and Ninth Parliaments, in an interview yesterday blamed the failure to push throughout the amendments on Executive’s reluctance to desk the proposals in time.

“Bills [to amend the constitution] come to Parliament barely three months to the elections [yet] we constantly Requested Executive to desk the amendments smartly in time,” Tashobya mentioned.

This, Consistent With Niwagaba, is done out of a lack of government’s goodwill to have a correct Evaluate of the Constitution.

“We Will simplest have a credible Review of the Structure if Museveni’s interests are put under nationwide interests however as long as it is amended to fulfill the individual interests of Museveni, they’ll at all times seem to be out for these clauses in order to preserve him in energy for ever,” Niwagaba said.

In The run-up to the earlier elections, civil society activists and opposition political Parties instructed many electoral and political reforms, that have been generally neglected of the 2015 Constitutional Amendment Invoice, which used to be tabled in Parliament late closing year.

According To Tashobya, such proposals should be the start line for the constitutional Overview Fee that Otafiire is proposing.

“It must be executed as early as imaginable because it has to be a comprehensive technique of reviewing the Structure and that might name for enough time to debate and pass the amendments, and sufficient time for the implementation,” Tashobya mentioned.

Opposition political Events and civil society businesses (CSOs) In The Voters’ compact on free and fair elections had proposed reforms comparable to; the return of a two-time period presidential restrict, institution of an impartial electoral Commission, separation of the state from the ruling birthday party and the removal of army and workers MPs from Parliament.

NRM secretary Normal Justine Kasule Lumumba on June 23 informed a post- 2016-elections convention for political party leaders under the Inter-birthday celebration organization for communicate (IPOD) that these proposals came at a mistaken time that Govt chose to shelve them.

In Parliament, shadow Justice and Constitutional affairs minister, Medard Lubega Sseggona, tabled a minority document that forced Government to refer the proposals to the present Parliament.

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