BY SHAMIRA MA­TOVU

The Sex­ual Of­fences Bill, 2015 has been in Par­lia­ment for al­most three years now. It was first tabled on 14th April 2016 by Hon. Mon­ica Amod­ing who was then the Na­tional Youth Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment and now the Dis­trict Woman MP for Kumi.

Last week on Wednes­day, 13th Feb 2019, the House moved for the Bil­l’s sec­ond read­ing. Un­for­tu­nately, due to ab­sence of the Bil­l’s com­mit­tee re­port, the House did­n’t pro­ceed to Bil­l’s com­mit­tee stage, a stage where the Bill is scru­ti­nised clause by clause. In­stead, the chair­ing Speaker Rt. Hon. Deputy Speaker Ja­cob Oulanyah ruled that the Bill was to proc­ceed to that stage on Tues­day, 19th Feb 2019.

At the com­mence­ment of the Bil­l’s com­mit­tee stage yes­ter­day, Hon. Mon­ica pre­sented to the chair­ing Speaker, Rt. Hon. Deputy Speaker Ja­cob Oulanyah a book of rec­om­men­da­tions to the Bill which the Speaker ruled to be big­ger and broader than the Bill it­self. Oulun­yah rec­om­mended with­drawal of the Bill and ad­vised Hon. Mon­ica to in­cor­po­rate all the rec­om­men­da­tions pre­sented into Bill and then retable it.

Hon. Mon­ica who grudg­ingly heeded the rec­om­men­da­tion voiced her dis­ap­point­ment in the de­ci­sion of the com­mit­tee. With­drawal of the Bill im­plies that for the mover to retable the Bill, there has to be a rep­e­ti­tion of the whole process in­clud­ing regazat­ting bill and ac­quir­ing a new cer­tifi­cate of fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tion. A process that sev­eral mem­bers have of­ten con­sid­ered long and te­dious.