Government Chief Whip, Ruth Nankabirwa has revealed that the land amendment bill will soon return to Parliament and be passed with ease following the removal of presidential age limits in the constitution.]
Nankabirwa, who is also the Kiboga Woman MP made the remarks while interacting with journalists on Wednesday at Parliament.
The bill seeks to amend Article 26 of the Constitution to allow for compulsory acquisition of land by the government before settling compensation disputes. A government valuer is to determine the value of compensation and in case the property owner is dissatisfied and declines to take the compensation, the bill proposes that the money be deposited with court.
“We didn’t withdraw it (the land bill); we just strategically said let us concentrate on one (age limit bill) and did it. This next amendment will come; it can’t just die like that. There is a reason why Government brought this particular amendment. It is still with the Committee, it wasn’t withdrawn,” Nankabirwa said.
She was talking about the performance of the 10th Parliament so far.
She admitted that Ministers have not been interacting journalists on the bills that are being tabled, a thing that has resulted into some misreporting.
“We submitted many bills for this financial year, but we have done little. I discovered that when I call for business to be transacted in terms of Bills, Ministers submit bills whose principles haven’t been passed by Cabinet.
So you include a Bill which in actual sense isn’t a Bill. So you end up submitting a very long list, but when you start asking, the Minister says we are working on the principles,” she said.
“It isn’t that Ministers don’t know, no, it is just the rigorous process of coming up with a legislation.
This coming session, I will not allow Bills whose principles haven’t been passed by Cabinet. I will ask the Bills whose principles have been passed,” she added.
She said she can have a huge list of 80 Bills but only 12 Bills are ready for submission.
‘You Don’t Have Money’
Nankabirwa blasted journalists for not benefiting from government.
This is after journalists asked her to secure them a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni to explain Land Amendment Bill.
“You are using borrowed cameras because you don’t have money, you are incapacitated. I mean, this is your president. You are our children, our relatives, our voters, but you get shy to benefit from Government programmes because some person will say you have been bought,” she said, adding:
“It doesn’t make sense, you are Ugandans. You can’t enhance your profession, but you fear because they will say Chief Whip has bought me.
You can remain objective, even if you benefit from a Government programme, unless you aren’t a professional. So appointment with the President, I have no problem with that.”