Parliament Legalizes 76 New Constituencies

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In short
The ninth Parliament approved the new constituencies without completing the legal process for creation of new constituencies.

Parliament on Tuesday approved the creation of 76 new parliamentary constituencies. The ninth Parliament voted for the creation of new constituencies but it did not go through the legal requirement for creation of Parliamentary constituencies as per article 63 of the constitution.

The approval followed a motion by Justice Minister, Kahinda Otafiiire. Otafiire told Parliament there was an omission on part of government and asked Parliament for retrospective approval in order to legalize the new constituencies.
Shadow Attorney General Wilfred Niwagaba had attempted to block debate on the motion saying the matter under consideration was before court. He told Parliament that one  Andrew Tumusiime had taken the Attorney General to Court challenging the legality of the new constituencies.  
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Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga however over ruled him saying she had not been served an injunction by court to stop debate on the matter.

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Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu said that the formation of the new counties in the first place was unconstitutional but government could not listen to the opposition advice.
Otafiire said that there was an omission on the government side but noted that they are duty bound by the command of the Constitution to ensure that they prescribe the number of constituencies as they are today.
Deputy Attorney General Mwesigwa Rukutana said  there was need for Parliament to legalize what is already in place. 

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Aruu Municipality MP Adonga Otto said that parliament had no option but to legalize the new counties saying that it is in the interest of the MPs that the motion passes.
Kiira Municipality MP, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said a number of MPs including himself would be affected if Parliament failed to approve the motion.  He blamed the mess on government for failing to table  amendments to the Electoral laws early enough.
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The new constituents that already have their representatives in the current Parliament include Agago North, Orungo County, Lutseshe County, Kachumbala County, Bukomansimbi South, Elgon County, Dokolo South County, Gomba West County, Kilak North County and others.
The others include Ik County, Bulamogi North-West County,  Kabweri County, Kashongi County, Kibanda North County, Chua East County,  Kole North County, Butemba County, Kyaka South County, Kiira Municipality, Tepeth County, Mawogola North County, Koboko North County, Adjumani East County and others.


About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.