Museveni Orders Traditional Leaders Bill Revised

by :Joyce Namutebi

(ARCHIVE)

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has directed the Attorney General, Dr. Khiddu Makubuya, to revise the Institution of Traditional and Cultural Leaders Bill and scrap some of its contested provisions.

The Bill, which is now being scrutinised by Parliament’s committees on gender, legal and parliamentary affairs, seeks to effect Article 246 of the Constitution which regulates the activities of traditional or cultural leaders.

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Meeting the NRM district chairpersons from Buganda at his country home in Rwakitura on Monday night, Museveni cited two clauses which must be expunged from the Bill, saying they were smuggled in by an unidentified official.

According to the NRM vice-chairman for Buganda, Hajji Abdu Nadduli, the President and the ministers who attended the meeting were surprised by the insertion of clause 9(2) and 4(3) in the Bill because they had not been part of their discussion.

Clause 9 (2) of the Bill, which is being scrutinised by Parliament, states that where there is more than one traditional or cultural leader in the area of a regional government, the position of titular head of the regional government shall be held by each of the traditional or cultural leaders within the area in rotation for one year at a time.

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Clause 4(3) says a person shall not be compelled to pay allegiance to any person installed as a traditional or cultural leader. This section is a direct transplant of Article 246(3d) of the Constitution that states that “no person shall be compelled to pay allegiance or contribute to the cost of maintaining a traditional leader or cultural leader.”

But according to Nadduli, the President said section 4(3) of the Bill should also be expunged.

He said the President wants the people who “smuggled” the two clauses into the Bill to be punished.

The meeting, which started at about 11:00pm, ended at about 4:30am.

Present in the meeting were the Vice-President, Prof. Gilbert Bukenya, who is the district NRM chairman for Wakiso, minister Maria Mutagamba (Rakai), James Kakooza (Lyantonde), Ruth Nankabirwa (Kiboga) and Amelia Kyambadde, the NRM chairperson for Mpigi, who is also party’s flag-bearer for Mawokota North.

Campaigning in Mbigi town council yesterday, Kyambadde, also informed the people that the President had ordered the Attorney General to revise the Bill and remove some of its sections.

Kyambadde singled out clause 9(2) of the Bill relating to traditional leaders and regional governments.

She said this was not applicable in Buganda.

According to Nadduli, the President also promised that the Bill would not be hurriedly debated and passed, but that there would be wide consultations.

Nadduli said the President and the Buganda NRM chairpersons agreed to set up a committee to discuss with the Katikkiro of Buganda on issues concerning the region.

The Bill spells out privileges and benefits of recognised traditional or cultural leaders, but bars them from participating in politics.

Some sections of the public, including opposition politicians, Buganda Kingdom officials, loyalists and the clergy, have expressed reservations about the Bill and urged the Government to handle it cautiously.

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