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Restore term limits, lawyers tell Uganda legislators

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Jun 21, 2011.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Jun 21, 2011
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    Members of Parliament were yesterday advised to ensure the return of presidential term limits and the removal of “unnecessary” interest group representatives from the House if they want to respect constitutionalism and good governance.

    The advice was given to the legislators yesterday by senior lawyers and academicians, Prof. Frederick Ssempebwa, the former chairman Constitutional Review Commission, and Prof. John Jean Barya during the first induction seminar for members of the 9th Parliament. “Our state is neopatrimonial, with more patronage and clientalism rather than institutions,” he said. “The country has laws but what takes place is contrary. It is managed on a personal basis and the donors may be interested in such a state because it is easy to manipulate,” said Prof. Barya while responding to Prof Frederick Ssempebwa’s paper. “If Parliament does not have an oversight function to the executive, then it should not exist,” he said.

    The Makerere University law don told the MPs that in order for the country to move away from personal rule of President Museveni, the legislators should restore term limits removed in a controversial 2005 amendment during which MPs were handed Shs5 million by the government, create a genuine debate on federalism and demand for regional governments.

    “There is no society that lacks talent (vision). There will
    always be problems if you do not want talent to show up,” he said. The MPs, 223 of whom are fresh legislators, are taking part in a four-day induction workshop to get acquainted with how Parliament should operate and how to behave as MPs.
    Lecturing on constitutionalism and good governance, Prof Ssempebwa said the last Parliament was devoid of this key ingredient and advised the new Parliament to avoid being influenced by the Executive.

    “There is nothing wrong with influence provided it is based on principles; pushing through one of several options for achieving a goal that advances the good of society. But on the negative side is the failure to interrogate the need for the ministerial faculty of over 70,” he said.