KAMPALA – Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah has directed Clerk to Parliament, Jane Kibirige to publish in the gazette the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019 which carries a number of electoral reform proposals by opposition without fail.
Oulanyah’s issued the directive on Tuesday afternoon after the Ministry of Finance refused to issue Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) with a certificate of financial implication within the 60days provided for in the Public Finance Management Act 2015.
The Deputy Speaker said that Niwagaba who doubles as Shadow Attorney requested to gazette the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2019 after the Clerk signed on 18th September 2019 and letter delivered on 23rd September to the Ministry of Finance requesting for certificate of financial implication.
“So if you count from the 23rd September to date, that means the period of 60days elapsed on the 23rd of November and his request is that I should direct the Clerk to Parliament to publish the bill in the gazette and enable him present it to the house for its first reading. Clerk you are accordingly directed to gazette this private member’s bill so that it can find its way to Parliament” ordered Oulanyah.
Niwagaba in his bill has proposed a number of reforms including; the removal of representation of the army from Parliament, provide for the leader of the opposition, Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General as ex-official members of Parliament, replace the requirement for resignation of public officers who wish to stand in general elections with leave of absence without pay as well as to prohibit the appointment of Ministers from among members of Parliament as well as to provide for the office of the Speaker’s Panel.
The other proposal is to provide for the leader of opposition to be the leader of a political party or organisation in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength in Parliament, to provide for the involvement of the Parliamentary Commission in the appointment of the Clerk to Parliament, to reinstate presidential term limits, to replace the office of Vice President with the office of Deputy of President.
The Opposition is also proposing the repealing the office of Prime Minister, to allow political parties or organisations, or voters to challenge presidential elections, to restrict the number of Cabinet Ministers and State Ministers to twenty-one respectively, to provide for the appointment and tenure of the President persons to be appointed Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General.
Additionally, the Opposition are proposing to provide for the tenure of office of the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, increase the tenure of office of members of the Public Service Commission from four to five years, to require the Public Service Commission to determine salaries and allowances of public officers under Chapter Ten of the Constitution, to require the Public Service Commission, Education Service Commission and Health Service Commission, as the case may be, to appoint persons to hold or act in any office in the public service of the rank of head of department or above.
Niwagaba also seeks to repeal the office of Resident District Commissioner (RDC) to change the name of the Uganda Police Force to Uganda Police Service and provide for the regulation of its conduct, to provide for the establishment of city land boards.