Parliament has further postponed debate on the Administration of
the Judiciary Bill, 2018.
This is after Members of Parliament noted that they need more time to read the
report of the Legal and Parliamentary affairs about the Bill.
Government tabled the Bill in May 2018 and referred it to the
legal committee for further scrutiny. The committee presented its report
in January 2019.
MPs noted that the committee presented its report a year ago and
that they, therefore, need to refresh their minds on the issues raised by the
committee and also provisions of the Bill.
The committee report has never been debated because the government
had on several occasions asked for extra time to conclude consultations on the
In December, the then Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana asked for
additional two months to conclude consultations on a few "sticky
issues" in the Bill. He however never disclosed the sticky issues.
However, when the Bill was scheduled on the Order Paper on Wednesday, debate
was further postponed, because MPs were not ready.
The MPs opposed debating the report after the Minister for Justice
and Constitutional Affairs, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu moved that the House adopts
the motion for the Bill to be read for the second time for debate to commence.
On Wednesday Kamuntu told the House that the government is now
ready to proceed with the Bill because consensus has been reached among the key
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The Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked the legal committee chairperson, Jacob Oboth him
to present highlights of the report and later be debated by MPs.
However, Kumi Municipality MP, Silas Aogon said that the House
should debate the report after MPs have internalized its content.
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Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu says that the public thinks
parliament is deliberately delaying the enactment of the Bill.
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Oboth requested the MPs to debate the report since the committee will
next week start regional consultations on the opposition-backed Constitutional
Amendment Bill, 2019.
However, Budadiri West MP, Nathan Nandala Mafabi noted that the
committee needs to be around during the debate on its report because there are
some clauses that he thinks must be amended.
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Opposition Chief Whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda insisted that the
House should debate the report because there is no guarantee that MPs will read
it or turn up the next time the matter is on the Order Paper.
Kadaga ruled that the committee should postpone its regional
consultations so that the House can debate on its report on the Judiciary Bill.