Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has closed the debate on the Constitutional
Amendment Bill, 2019 after three days of discussions.
The debate on the Bill moved by the Shadow Attorney General, Wilfred
Niwagaba seeks to among others scrap UPDF representation in Parliament, repeal
of the Office of Prime Minister and Vice President, reinstate the presidential
term limits and prohibit the Ministers from becoming MPs.
Kadaga on Thursday afternoon said that a total of 65 MPs had presented
their views on the Bill and that Bill's second reading, were MPs take a vote on
each proposal will be on notice.
Article 260 of the Constitution, requires two-thirds of the total number
of legislators at the second and third reading of the Bill.
of 65 MPs who participated in the debate, there seemed to be consensus on the
proposal to reinstate the presidential term limits and the establishment of a
panel of Speakers.
However, MPs expressed divergent views on the several proposed constitutional
amendments including the removal of UPDF representation in Parliament,
scrapping the Resident District Commissioners- RDCs, making all Ministers
Ex-officials, reducing the size of Cabinet to about 40 Ministers (21 Cabinet
Ministers and 21 State Ministers), holding the Presidential,
Parliamentary, and Local Government elections on the same day, allowing a
political party or Organizations that sponsored a candidate to challenge
results of Presidential elections and others.
Although it isn’t part of the original proposals in the Bill, the proposal
tabled by the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to increase the term of
office for Parliament and other elected officials from 5 to 7 years beginning
May 21st divided the House after a section of MPs supported the
This proposal was initially passed by parliament while amending the
Constitution in 2017 but was quashed by the Constitutional Court. If approved
by Parliament, Uganda would hold its next general election in 2028 instead of
Minister of State for Lands Persis Namuganza supported the move to increase the
parliament term saying that most of the MPs wanted it as well but were afraid
to speak out.
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County MP, Rose Mutonyi Masaba also said that she had been approached by her
constituents who are in support of extending the political term from 5 to 7
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North MP, Patrick Nsamba disagreed with this position demanding an
investigation into operations of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
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On the proposal to remove UPDF representatives Brig. Felix Kulayigye said
that their presence is still necessary.
//Cue in: "that we maintain...
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Municipality MP Wamai Wamanga supported the proposal to remove the position of
RDCs saying that it was wasting public resources since they duplicate the roles
of other security agencies.
He also proposed that Ministers should be appointed from professionals and
that the move will promote efficiency in service delivery.
The Bunyole West MP, James Waluswaka supported the reinstatement of
presidential term limits sayings that this was due to public demand. He
proposed that the first runner-up in the presidential elections should
automatically become deputy president.
Waluswaka instead suggested that the 10 slots for the Army representatives
should be divided among the security agencies including Police and Prison Services.
The Minister of State for Planning David Bahati disagreed with the
reinstatement of presidential term limits sayings that the restriction is not
necessary since it's the citizens who elect their leaders.
Gen. Moses Ali, the First Deputy Prime Minister rejected the proposal
to remove Army representatives in Parliament and also said that
the office of the RDC should not be removed, but rather remove individual
RDCs who degrade the environment.