The Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze has expressed concern over the way Parliament keeps amending the Constitution which she fears might result in history repeating itself where a fight erupted in Parliament following the Age Limit amendment in 2017.
This afternoon in a plenary session chaired by Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, two members were granted leave of Parliament to introduce Private Members’ Bills. Of these, two were motions to amend the Constitution.
Nambooze rose to passionately express her worry that what transpired in Parliament on September 27, 2017 might happen again as they try to amend the Constitution. She said she was even more worried since the Police she ran into while accessing Parliament did not recognize her.
” How safe are we that this time round when we amend it, that the events of 2017 won’t be repeated. If we are going to amend, why don’t we go back and ask if Ugandans have the right document as a constitution”- She stressed.
She reminded the House of the time in September 2017 when scuffles broke out in Parliament during a debate on plans to remove the presidential age limit. She told Parliament that she speaks with pain because that day MPs were beaten, mistreated by security operatives and up until now lives with a broken back.
Igara East MP Michael Mawanda Micheal had moved a motion seeking leave of Parliament to introduce a Private Member’s Bill entitled “The Constitution [Amendment Bill”. The Bill that lapsed with the resolution of the 10th Parliament seeks to amend the constitution to remove the Governor and Deputy Governor of Bank of Uganda (BoU) from being Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the Central Bank.
Currently, Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile and Dr. Michael Atingi-Ego serve as the Governor and Deputy Governor respectively of Bank of Uganda as well as the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Central Bank.
Mawanda said that Parliament was concerned that there is inadequate supervision of the management of the bank by the Board.
“The Governor is the Chief Executive of BoU and should ordinarily be answerable to the Board, but he is also the Chairman of the Board which makes assessment of his performance difficult and may not be done effectively. Meaning that the Governor may influence the decision of the Board since he plays a double role. There would be a conflict of interest.”- He explained
Nambooze wondered why for such an obvious matter, a line minister didn’t move the motion and it was instead left to Mawanda.
She advised that if there is need to amend the constitution and all the other issues pending, it should be done formally.
Mawanda moved another motion seeking leave of parliament to introduce a Private Member’s Bill entitled “The Public Enterprise Reform and Divestiture (repeal) bill” that intends to repeal the Public Enterprises Reform and Divestiture Act.
Kibanda South County MP, Jacob Karubanga also moved a motion seeking leave to introduce a Private Member’s Bill entitled “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill”. The bill intends to have the Maragoli, Mososhek, Sabot, Bakingwe and Bahaya people recognized as an ethnic group in the Constitution.
“The lack of recognition of these people has led to their assimilation by bigger tribes leading to the loss of their language, identity, culture and self-determination,” said Karubanga
While some of the Legislators seconded the motion, Denis Lee Oguzu (Maracha County MP) rose to inform the House that he is constrained to support the motion and wants to know what informs the urgent pleas in the motion.
He asked the House to slow down in granting the MP leave until a thorough impact assessment study of recognizing the “non-Ugandans” as an ethnic group here in Uganda is done.