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Land Amendment Bill: Gov’t Delays Frustrate Parliament Legal Affairs Committee

Jacob Oboth Oboth, the Legal Affairs committee chairperson
Jacob Oboth Oboth, the Legal Affairs committee chairperson

The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has expressed disappointment with government over its failure to report back to the committee regarding the Constitution Amendment Bill 2017 within the stipulated time.

After the Minister of Lands Betty Amongi and that of Constitutional Affairs, Gen. Kahinda Otaffire failed to convince the committee on the need for the amendment, the members resolved to allow them time to make consultations and report back to the committee after two weeks.

The decision was taken on August 1 by the Committee Chairperson and Budama West legislator, Jacob Oboth Oboth — despite the committee’s limited time of 45 to report back to the house floor.

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Oboth said that the delay has stalled committee work despite having given the matter top priority.

Oboth says the committee has received a lot of requests from members of the public who want to present views before the committee on the bill which they can’t before the official position from government.

“When we last met with the Ministers on August 1, they requested for adjournment for two weeks seeking to consult and then report back. The two weeks have gone and by yesterday, we wrote a letter to the Minister of Justice reminding him that we have run out of time and needed an update from them,” Oboth said.

 “The committee is experiencing a stalemate because we can’t move on without having the government position and the 45 days are still standing.”

He observed however that Parliament can’t be in hurry to process a bill that has come from government.

“We can’t say we are grieving more than the aggrieved; what we are going to do is to wait until they are ready and they get back to us.”

Oboth said that if after two weeks it finds that the 45 days have clocked, the committee will report to Parliament about the status and Parliament during plenary will decide on either allowing them more time or otherwise.

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