The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has given the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Kahinda Otafiire two months to table the electoral reforms responding to the 2016 Supreme Court ruling.
It should be recalled that when former Premier, Amama Mbabazi challenged President Yoweri Museveni’s victory in 2016 on grounds that the elections weren’t free and fair, the Justices proposed a number of electoral reforms and called on Parliament to have the reforms finalised two years before the 2021 general elections.
However, two years to the polls, the reforms are yet to be tabled before Parliament.
Explaining the delay in tabling the reforms before Parliament, Otafiire said in a statement that the Treasury is yet to avail funds to kick start the Constitutional review Commission that will look at a number of reforms, with electoral reforms inclusive.
“While the Government could proceed to introduce the electoral reform bills, it has become evident that in order to severally address matters relating to elections in Uganda, it is necessary to handle the matter in a chronological manner, beginning with the review and amendment of the Constitution of Uganda 1995… concurrent with the process to amend the electoral laws, Government has continued to receive proposals for amendment of the Constitution,” Otafiire said in a statement.
However, Kadaga rejected the Minister’s statement.
She gave him two months to have the reforms tabled noting; “The review has nothing to do with this parliament, our concern is electoral reforms. The Supreme Court passed judgment before swearing in this government, and you should have addressed that, but no it wasn’t important. We want you to respond to the command of the Supreme Court in full. By the end of April, come and report to us about electoral reforms.”
It should be recalled that while appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee recently to present the Ministry of Justice’s National budget framework paper, Otafiire said that despite the fact that Justice Ministry is ready with electoral reforms, the Treasury is yet to avail the Shs13bn for the Constitutional review Commission that will also look into the electoral reforms.