By Max Patrico Ocaido
The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee is set to consult all former presidential candidates including former prime minister Amama Mbabazi who was a candidate in last year’s presidential election.
The committee which is chaired by West Budama South County MP Jacob Oboth Oboth Tuesday finalized its roadmap on how Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi’s “Constitution Amendment Bill, 2017” will be processed.
While addressing journalists at Parliament, Oboth Oboth, said that his committee will invite former presidential candidates as stakeholders to present their views on the bill.
Among the former presidential candidates Dr. Kizza Besigye, Amama Mbabazi, Joseph Mabirizi, Maj Gen Benon Biraaro, Abed Bwanika among others.
According to Oboth, the committee will kick off actual scrutiny of the bill on October 31st 2017, saying that for in the last two closed-door meetings, the team has been preparing a work plan on how to proceed.
He added that in the next two weeks, the committee will allow the invited witnesses to prepare their paper work.
“We are finding all reasons not to rush the process. We are preparing ourselves as a committee with all the necessary literature,” Oboth said.
According to the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure, a committee has only 45 days within which to prepare a Bill and present the report to Parliament for the second reading.
However, Oboth anticipated need to ask for an extension from the Speaker before the deadline, November 22nd 2017.
Other stakeholders lined up to interface with the committee include the mover, Magyezi, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and members of the Uganda Law Reform Commission.
Former Chief Justice Benjamin Odoki and Supreme Court judges George William Kanyeihamba are among those whose legal opinion will be sought.
Members of civil society, Academia, Special Interest groups such as Youths, Women, and political scientist among other groups will be consulted.
Need for special facilitation
Meanwhile, Oboth Oboth has also expressed need for ‘special’ facilitation for MPs sitting on his committee, saying that the Shs4m for consultation meant for each MP is not enough considering this bill is unique.
“We are making a case that MPs should be facilitated as a special assignment to go and consult widely. We believe that every MP should be given money. Those who don’t want can refer it to consolidated fund,” Oboth said.