Some of the proposals that require government response include scraping the representation of the army in Parliament, repeal of the office of Prime Minister and Vice President, reinstatement of presidential term limits, prohibiting the appointment of Ministers from among MPs and others.
Attorney General, William Byaruhanga has come under fire from parliament for
failing to present a response to a raft of constitutional amendments proposed
by the Opposition under the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The Attorney General
and the Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister were expected to avail the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee a
response to the proposed amendments tabled by the Shadow Attorney General,
proposals include scraping the representation of
the army in Parliament, repeal of the Office of Prime Minister and Vice
President, reinstatement of presidential term limits and prohibiting the
appointment of Ministers from among MPs among other things.
On Wednesday, Byaruhanga told the committee that his office was not
ready to respond to the amendments, saying they touch a number of
Constitutional provisions and require sufficient time for a comprehensive
He appealed to the committee for more time to
respond to the proposed amendments and suggested that the Justice Ministry be
allowed to respond to other Bills like the Amendment of the Administrator
General’s Act, Succession Act, the Administration of Estates (Small Estates)
Act, Estates of Missing Persons (Management) Act and the Probate Resealing Act.
He noted that his office was of the view that when the five proposed
laws are dealt with, then they can embark on the Constitutional (Amendment)
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His submission didn’t go down well with MPs led
by the Kira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda. He wondered why the
Attorney General was giving advice to the committee on how to handle its work.
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Kaberamaido Woman MP, Veronica Elagu Biketero
weighed in, saying the letter inviting the Attorney General was clear and
required him to respond to the opposition proposals as well as the other laws
before the committee.
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Niwagaba said the impression that the office of
the Attorney General was giving concerning the amendments seemed like they are
not ready to respond. He noted that this is the third time the Attorney General
is failing to give his response on his proposals.
He suggested that the committee proceeds receiving input of other
stakeholders and leave out the response of the Attorney General.
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Chairperson, Jacob Oboth highlighted the
previous invites to the Attorney General concerning the matter and his request
for postponement. He noted that Constitutional matters were urgent and take
precedent over other Bills being processed by his committee.
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defended himself, saying that he wasn’t trying advice the committee on how to
handle business, saying he was only interested in dialogue with a view of
finding a middle ground.
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committee resolved to proceed with submissions from other stakeholders.