Government Presents Bills Aimed at Merging its Entities

Government has introduced nine legislative proposals before the legislative body, aimed at formalizing provisions to streamline agencies across various sectors of the economy.

These proposals will modify existing statutes that establish organizations in the fields of commerce, learning, finances, internal governance, aquatic resources and environmental conservation, farming, infrastructure and transportation, societal advancement, and hospitality.

The legislative proposals were presented by the respective Secretaries in charge of the various sectors, in front of the Assembly on Tuesday, 20 February 2024.

The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, assigned the legislative proposals to the corresponding Committees of the Assembly and encouraged Members of the Assembly to examine their contents and provide feedback to the Assembly by Tuesday, 27 February 2024.

“In accordance with Regulation 129(2) of the Regulations of Procedure, which grants Committees 45 days for a legislative proposal, in consideration of the budgeting process, we will initiate action on these legislative proposals without delay,” stated Among.

The Minister for Civil Service, Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa, also presented the Charter (Adjustment) Proposal, 2023 intended to merge the Fairness Opportunities Commission with the Uganda Human Liberties Commission.

The proposed legislative proposal aims to streamline the managerial structure for the execution of the legal reform role in Uganda by creating a unit responsible for legal reform within the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.

However, Members of the Assembly expressed reservations regarding the presentation of the legislative proposal pending an update on the activation of the Constitutional Review Panel.

Hon. Asuman Basalirwa (JEEMA, Bugiri Municipality Member of Parliament) mentioned that the Assembly previously suspended issues relating to constitutional changes while instructing the Executive to form the Panel.

“If we approve this legislative proposal, the Assembly will be endorsing and rejecting at the same time. Madam Speaker, should we proceed with this particular legislative proposal in the absence of the commitment we made to establish a Constitutional Review Panel?” questioned Basalirwa.

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi, emphasized the necessity for comprehensive examination of the Constitutional modifications, considering the recommendations proposed by some Members of the Assembly for amending the Constitution.

The Legal Advisor, Hon. Kiryowa Kiwanuka, stated that the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Norbert Mao, has already received 73 suggestions on amending the Constitution, and is actively engaging with Members of the Assembly.

“He has instructed the Uganda Law Review Commission to compile these suggestions and analyze their impact on other sections of the Constitution. The process is underway and we will present a report to the Assembly at the earliest opportunity,” explained Kiryowa Kiwanuka.

Five additional legislative proposals were also presented for their initial reading, including the Nationwide Tribunal Proposal, 2023, the Adjustment and Conciliation (Amendment), 2024, and the Karamoja Advancement Authority (Revocation) Proposal, 2024.

Additionally, before the Assembly is the Uganda National Information Technology Authority, Uganda (Amendment) Proposal, 2024 and the Nationwide Documents and Records (Amendment) Proposal, 2024.