To meet or not to meet President Yoweri Museveni over Constitutional Amendment Bill (No.2) 2017? That was the question that has left MPs on the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee divided.
During an internal Committee meeting held on Thursday at Parliament, Jacob Oboth, the Committee Chairperson rejected the proposal to interface with President Museveni.
“Oboth protested the idea of meeting Museveni saying he is a Fountain of Honour and therefore shouldn’t be subjected to Committee proceedings,” a source quoted Oboth as saying.
According to sources privy to the four-hour meeting, Oboth’s revelation shocked Opposition MPs in attendance including Muhammad Nsereko (Kampala Central), Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East) and Medard Sseggona (Busiro East) among others.
These bitterly rejected Oboth’s submission, thus turning the meeting chaotic.
The lawmakers told off Oboth that Museveni is the initiator of the controversial Bill and therefore, there was no way they were going to author a report without his input.
He was also reminded that some Parliament Committees have previously interfaced with Museveni. The Bill seeks to remove the presidential age limits so as to a lower a person above 75 years of age and below 35 years to stand for President.
The other point of contention was on the money for the local and international trips the Committee is made to make, a source said.
This followed a revelation from Parliament that the institution has no money to fund the trips that had been scheduled for the consultations on the Bill.
In October 2017 businessfocus.co.ug revealed how the Committee had planned to spend Shs715.3m for processing the Bill.
During the meeting, some MPs wanted the writing of the report to commence even without the benchmarking trips, but other Legislators rejected the proposal saying they can’t write a shoddy report related to a sensitive exercise like amending a constitution, just because Parliament doesn’t have money.
Sources reveal the MPs ordered the Committee Chairman Oboth to interface with the Commissioners of Parliament to find the money.
We shall keep you posted!