Opposition Desperately Looking for Numbers, Starts Persuading NRM MPs to Support Constitution (Amendment) Bill

Opposition legislators are set to begin campaigns amongst fellow MPs belonging to the NRM, the ruling party, to support the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to alter the composition of Cabinet, Parliament and other government administrative units.

This was revealed by the mover of the Private Member’s Bill, Hon Wilfred Niwagaba, during a press briefing held at Parliament on Tuesday, 17 December 2019.

Niwagaba, who is also the Shadow Attorney General, said that opposition Members plan to lobby their colleagues to support the already gazetted bill once tabled in Parliament, in order to avoid the obvious effect of the majority vote by NRM members.

“We believe the majority of Ugandans support these proposals, we believe that since it is coming to election time, NRM MPs will this time consider interests of Ugandans, not the interests of few individuals,” he said.

He said that from countrywide consultations, citizens overwhelmingly supported the Bill and was positive that with increased sensitization, the influence of the 2021 general elections will beat all odds such as bribery and intimidation of Members.

The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Betty Aol Ocan, said the plan will be strengthened by consultative engagements in constituents which she intends to ask opposition MPs to carry out. 

Highlighting on the objects of the bill, Niwagaba remarked that removal of UPDF representation in Parliament is timely, considering the force’s interference in not only civil matters but also in playing partisan politics.

“We know world over the army is supposed to protect the territorial integrity of any country, the army in this Parliament has not led to any enhancement of democracy but have been there as a listening post for the appointing authority,” said Niwagaba.

The Bill also proposes the abolition of the Office of the Resident District Commissioners and the Office of the Prime Minister and having the vice president elected by the members of the public. 

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