Meseveni rejects GMO Bill

Nearly a year after Parliament passed the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill 2018; President Yoweri Museveni has sent it back to Parliament after he declined to assent to it.

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga informed MPs that the President has once again not assented to the Bill.

The Bill, popularly known as the GMO (Genetically modified organisms) bill was first passed by Parliament in 2017 as the National Biotechnology and Biosafety Bill, 2012 but was returned to Parliament with a number of recommendations from Museveni for improvement of the law.

Among the concerns Museveni raised at the time was the establishment of several gene banks and seed banks across the country to preserve the biodiversity, which Parliament consented to providing for the establishment of bank to preserve the uncontaminated indigenous plants and animal varieties.

It was later passed for the second time in November last year

Now that this is the second time that Museveni is return the bill to Parliament, Kadaga said, it is supposed to be passed into law without the presidential assent.

Under Article 91(3) of the Constitution, Museveni had 30 days within which to reject the bill after it had been passed by Parliament.

Clause 5 of the same Article states that, “Where the President returns the same bill twice under clause

(3)(b) of this article and the bill is passed for the third time, with the support of at least two-thirds of all members of Parliament, the Speaker shall cause a copy of the bill to be laid before Parliament, and the bill shall become law without the assent of the President.”

Kadaga however instructed the Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda to lay the bill again for consideration and decision by the House.