Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa, a former chair of the Constitutional Review Commission has said that the constitution needs to be reviewed and all citizens in the country must participate so as to have a national consensus.
During the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs that was chaired by Hon. Jacob Oboth (Ind., West Budama South) is currently receiving views about the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, 2017, Prof. Ssempebwa suggested that the best way to have the current constitution amended is by having approval from all citizens in the country since most of them have shown interest in being involved in the constitutional amendment.
“The Constitution should not be amended based on party loyalties; we now distrust you (MPs) because your positions have hardened.” He said.
Ssempebwa further added that if the power was in his hands, he could take the country back to the days of the no party system where MPs and individuals debated more in the interest of the country than party loyalties.
“A Constitution Review Commission will help consider all provisions of the Constitution as well as effects of amending any of them on the entire document. Ugandans who were consulted and had consensus during the Odoki Commission (1988 – 1995) needed to be consulted again during the new process.”
Ssempebwa further condemns the current consultations because they are only targeted the knowledgeable people and MPs already took their positions on the Constitution (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill and are now selling party positions to the population, ignoring out some people and donning various colors for and against the proposals something that does not show signs of consultation.
“The consultations should be free and include sensitization of the population about the reasons for the amendments; and the positive and negative possible effects of the amendments,” he said.
The Constitution (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2017 seeks to amend the Constitution to provide adequate time within which to hold presidential, parliamentary and local government elections; to alter eligibility requirements for persons standing for President or District Chairperson; and to increase the number of days within which to file and determine a presidential election petition; and to increase the number of days within which the Electoral Commission is required to hold a fresh election where a presidential election is annulled by court.