KAMPALA – Wilfred Niwagaba, the Shadow Attorney General has revealed that the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019 will be published in the gazette on Wednesday, December 18, bringing an end to the bickering between the opposition and leaders in Parliament over the electoral reforms as proposed by Parliament.
Niwagaba made the revelation on December 17 while addressing journalists at Parliament where he stated that the title of the bill was gazetted on Friday last week as the ‘Constitution Amendment No. 33 Bill 2019’ and that he had signed off the final publication for the full text to be published tomorrow in the gazette.
It should be recalled that on Monday, December 16, Niwagaba threatened to drag Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige to court after she refused to abide to the ruling of Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah to gazette the opposition electoral reforms.
This was after December 03, 2019, Deputy Speaker directed Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige to publish in the gazette the Constitutional Amendment Bill,2019.
Oulanyah’s directive was after the Ministry of Finance refused to issue Niwagaba who also doubles as Ndorwa East with a certificate of financial implication within the 60days as provided for in the Public Finance Management Act 2015.
However, Niwagaba’s hands were tied to the then Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana wrote to Kibirige warning her against publishing the bill saying it bears financial implication for the country.
On receiving that news, Niwagaba said, “We are still pushing the clerk to comply with the Speaker’s directive and if she fails, we are looking at going to court for an order of mandamus to compel her to gazetted the bill.”
The latest development excited Niwagaba who said if the bill is published, it would encourage the Speaker to place the bill on the order paper for tabling tomorrow for the first reading of the bill.
The bill is an initiative by the opposition to introduce a raft of constitutional reforms that they believe are necessary to usher in effective democratic governance, the measure is a private members bill moved by Niwagaba.
The constitution amendment bill 2019 drafted by Ndorwa East MP Wilfred Niwagaba seeks to among other provisions scrap the representation of the army in Parliament, repeal the office of Prime Minister, reinstate presidential term limits and prohibit the appointment of Ministers from among Members of Parliament.
During the press briefing, Niwagaba said that the opposition MPs agreed during the retreat to discuss ways of popularizing the bill among the wider community and the ruling party MPs whose support they will require to push through several provisions in the law.
He believes that a number of the provisions are popular even among the NRM MPs who accorded him the support he needed during his motion that sought leave to draft the law.