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.