Kinkizi West legislator, Amama Mbabazi, Wednesday joined opposition members to discuss the electoral reforms in the Ugandan Parliament.
Opposition members including former FDC President, Kizza Besigye, Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago, and their colleagues were meeting the parliamentary committee to present their version of electoral reforms to be included in the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015.
Mbabazi, quite unexpected, graced the meeting and nearly caused a stampede in the August House.
It was his maiden appearance since losing his position as Prime Minister and Leader of government business in Parliament.
He was received by Mukono Woman Member of Parliament, Hon Betty Nambooze, who tried to usher him towards the “opposition side”.
Tactfully, Mbabazi played it cool but wisely joined the MPs’ side, sat down beside Abdu Katuntu and listened to the proceedings of the meeting.
The Opposition agrees with the change of the name from Electoral Commission to “National Independent Electoral Commission”.
The opposition agree with the amendment to the headnote of the article 72 however disagree with the amendment to article 72 clause (4) of the Constitution. The amendment is discriminatory and contrary to articles 21 and 29(1) (a), (d) and (e) of the Constitution and therefore should be deleted.
The Opposition supports the amendment however differs from the period with in which the crossing of the floor would be permitted. It should be reduced to six months to the general election.
The opposition also supports a proposal suggesting that “(2) When hearing appeals from the decisions of the Court of Appeal sitting as a Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court shall consist of seven members of the Supreme Court.”
The Opposition believes that this is a specialized skill that takes time to develop and proposes that in both benches to retire at ‘ Seventy years of age’
Opposition rejected the amendment of article 147 of the Constitution “(b) subject to the provisions of this Constitution, to review and make recommendations on the terms and conditions of service of judges, other judicial officers and staff of the judiciary appointed in accordance with article 148A of this Constitution;” proposing that a new paragraph be inserted immediately after article 147(1) (e) following ‘appoint the National independent Electoral Commissioners” saying its a consequential amendment.
The Opposition objects to the amendment for having a new articleon city land boards saying instead it prefers the amendment of head note under article 240 of the Constitution since the Cities have the same status with districts.
The Opposition opposes the creation of the Salaries and Remuneration Board which shall be a redundant body in the constitution created just to look on salaries.
The Government should rather empower and put this function under Public service, institute and independent inquiry to study all government salaries and recommend to the public service commission to harmonise the salary structure in the country.