Parliament Rejects Constitution Amendment Bill

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anita among returns to parliament
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Members of Parliament raised concerns over what they perceive as incremental changes to the Constitution in a recent plenary sitting on Tuesday, 14 November 2023, . The proposed Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2023, aimed at its first reading, faced rejection as legislators questioned the provision for rationalizing agencies. The focal point of contention was the merger of the Equal Opportunities Commission with the Uganda Human Rights Commission.

Concerns Raised by Legislators
Legislators challenged the process to rationalize agencies, especially the proposed merger, citing the need for a comprehensive Constitutional Review Commission.
Sarah Opendi (NRM, Tororo District Woman Representative) emphasized the importance of establishing a Constitutional Review Commission before approving specific amendments.
Speaker Anita Among sought clarification from the Attorney General on the urgency of these piecemeal amendments.

Deputy Attorney General Jackson Kafuuzi defended the proposed amendments, stating they address the merger of commissions, and other amendments by MPs would be handled comprehensively due to potential referenda requirements.

Legislators’ Responses and Ministerial Actions
Yusuf Mutembuli (NRM, Bunyole East County) urged the Attorney General to expedite the establishment of the Constitutional Review Commission, emphasizing the current opportunity for comprehensive constitutional amendments.
Minister for Public Service, Wilson Muruli Makasa, pledged to engage parliamentary committees to resolve concerns about agencies being rationalized and present an omnibus Bill with proposals.

 

The Speaker directed the Attorney General to provide an update to the House on the timeline for establishing the Constitutional Review Commission.

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