Markson Jacob Oboth, the Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Committee of has revealed that Parliament is stuck with the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2017, after failing to justify why the Constitution should be tampered with.
Addressing journalists this morning at Parliament, Oboth revealed that despite the fact that General Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs had asked for two weeks to make consultations, the time elapsed without Government reporting back.
According to Oboth, the failure by Government to report back has hampered Committee efforts to proceed with the Bill.
Tabled on July 13 2017, by Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana, the Bill seeks to make amendments to Article 26 of the constitution, giving Government powers to compulsorily acquire land.
In his parting shots on August 1st 2017, Otafiire is quoted having said: “Having listened to the wisdom of the Committee, there is need to consult our colleagues in Cabinet. There might be reasons for second thoughts and amendments and adjustments. So give us two weeks so we consult all and then come back here with something definite and a more passionate prayer,” Gen. Otafiire said.
Oboth said that Parliament has written to the Justice Minister, but the Legislative body is yet to receive a response.
He said that there is no way the Legal Committee will go out to meet stakeholders, seeking their input into the Bill, without receiving justification from Government on why the Constitution should be amended.
“We must understand what Government intends to do with Article 26 before we go out. It isn’t just a stalemate but we can’t move on. I believe something good is about to happen because this is a Government sponsored Bill and it is in its interest,” Oboth said.
On what Parliament intends to do if the 45days allocated to Committee to process the Bill, Oboth said that the Committee will go ahead report to Parliament, even if Government hasn’t responded by that time.