The government will next week publish the draft constitution to enable members of the public scrutinise it and thereafter all members of parliament will be required to debate and determine clauses that will be enacted through an Act of Parliament.
This was announced in parliament yesterday by minister of Justice Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula who disclosed that government printers were in the process of printing that document which will be available on Monday.
He explained that government did not want to proceed by way of a white paper dictated by the ruling party but instead wanted an inter party dialogue to ensure that the resultant document was acceptable to all parties.
In the past he said, preceding government proceeded by way of white paper which has always met resistance and subsequent failure, “we have learnt from the past and that is why we want all you members of this house to participate in a debate over the content so that the resultant document is acceptable to all.”
But Mafinga Member of Parliament, Catherine Namugala doubted whether vested political interest would allow the passage of a non partisan draft constitution because of very serious entrenched political interest.
Dr. Simbyakula insisted that the document was a national project that must rise above partisan and sectional interest in order to withstand the test of time.
He explained that all the clauses would be debated by members of parliament and voted on while the bill of rights and section 79 of the Referendum Act would be referred to the referendum which would take place at the same time as general and presidential election in 2016.
Answering questions, Dr. Simbyakula said it made sense to hold elections and the referendum at the same time in the interest of financial prudence and logistical convenience, as the same people running the elections would also be managing the referendum.
There was no point, he , for a stand alone referendum which would cost the same as an election.
“That is why we decided that since both were elections they should be held at the same time.” he said.