Constitutional review to consume Shs 133 billion

Two years after government dolled out nearly Shs 80 billion to facilitate MPs to amend the Constitution for purposes of removing the Presidentialage limit, government is yet to spend another Shs 133.5 billion bugdet to review the Constitution.

According to the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Maj Gen Kahinda Otafiire, his ministry had forwarded its proposal to Ministry of Finance but the Treasury hasn’t responded.

Otafiire last year forwarded to President Yoweri Museveni names of his nominees for membership of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC).

Appearing before the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee at Parliament to defend his docket’s proposals contained in the 2019/2020 National Budget Framework Paper, Otafiire said that the Ministry Finance’s no response had held back the constitutional review process.

“We are ready but our colleagues in finance aren’t. Just ask them why they haven’t given us money. If they were to give me money, I would even start tomorrow,” Otafiire said.

This was after the committee Chairperson, Jacob Oboth-Oboth asked the Minister about the Ministry’s plan on constitutional and electoral reforms.

The CRC’s budget could however not be included in the Ministry’s  budget because of the docket’s budget ceiling.

The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs has in effect been consistently writting to their counterparts at Finance for clearance but to no avail.

Oboth also wondered when Government intends to table the electoral reforms to Parliament given the fact that there is a supreme court ruling that required the amendments to have been brought within two and half years before the 2021 general elections.

“Electoral roadmap is out even supreme court made a decision that we need to have electoral reforms within two years. We are going for another election. Do you want to stampede parliament at the last minute?” Oboth asked.

Kahinda said that some of the necessary amendments to the Constitution require to go through the CRC.

“We are in the process of working on the amendments to the law [but] some of those amendments require review of the constitution. The constitutional review commission is ready, it is only financing that is remaining. Everything is ready except finance.”