The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Ephraim Kamuntu has revealed that President Yoweri Museveni has declined to assent to the Local Governments Amendment bill 2019 which was passed by Parliament in March 2020.
The rejected bill is among the five electoral reform bills that were tabled by the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga with the aim of streamlining elections and election activities in the country.
The Local Governments Amendment bill among others provided for amendment of clause 7 to provide for a minimum qualification of Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education or its equivalent (UACE) to all political heads of urban councils.
In passing the amendment, legislators noted that political heads of all urban councils – city divisions, municipalities, municipal divisions and town councils – are self-accounting hence the need for educated leaders that are charged with political supervision of highly qualified technical staff.
The bill had also provided that in a situation where new local government administrative units are created after the Local Government council elections, the elections in those new areas would be held at the next general elections.
Addressing the House on Thursday, the Minister, Ephraim Kamuntu revealed that the President has assented to four of the bills apart from the Local government amendment bill which he says will soon be returned to parliament for further consideration.
Kamuntu was responding to concerns on the delay in the enactment of the electoral reform bills yet the revised elections roadmap has already been issued by the Electoral Commission.
The Bills that have been assented to include; The Parliamentary Elections Amendment bill, 2019, the Electoral Commission Amendment bill, 2019, the Presidential Elections Amendment bill, 2019 and the Political Parties and Organization Amendment bill, 2019.
One of the amendments that has been assented to as provided for in the Presidential Elections Amendment Bill, 2019 is the mandatory disclosure of sources of funding by all Presidential candidates to the Electoral Commission within 14 days after nomination.