PHOTO: Government Chiefwhip Thomas Tayebwa (centre) together with AG Kiryowa Kiwanuka (right) and Hon. Nankabirwa (right) interacting with members of UPPA at Parliament yesterday
HON. KIRYOWA Kiwanuka, the Attorney General of Uganda, yesterday Thursday met members of Uganda Parliamentary Press Association (UPPA) and took them through the Bills that have been introduced to the the 5 Month old 11th Parliament showing their relevancy and why they should be urgently passed by the August House.
This was during media interaction between the Government chiefwhip Hon. Thomas Tayebwa and UPPA which took place in the Conference Hall at Parliament.
In the meeting which was attended by Energy Minister Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, the convener Chiefwhip Tayebwa said members of NRM caucus will be persuaded to have a consensus on scrapping of Bail application to suspects of capital offences, a campaign driven by H.E the President.
The Attorney General who did not to submit on the issue of Bail, insisted that consultation is on-going.
Here is how AG Kiwanuka submitted on the 10 Bills introduced to the 11th Parliament;
- THE NSSF BILL 2021
The National Social Security Fund Ammendment) Bill, 2021 is among the seven lapsed Bills from the 10th Parliament which were reintroduced for enactment to the 11th Parliament. Its 1st reading was on 29th September, 2021.
This Bill seeks to expand social security coverage by making contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) mandatory for all workers in the formal or informal sectors to make voluntary contributions to the National Social Security Fund, to enhance the spectrum of benefits available to workers and to improve management of the National Social Security Fund (NSSF).
Explaining why the Social Security Bill was brought, Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka told members of UPPA that, “Social security is to provide for persons that have been working at a later point in their lives. That means that if a government sets a law which forced every person working to save for the future meaning when you get out of your working life, you have something to sustain you. That is the purpose of The Social Security Fund Act.”
On Mid term access of the funds, Hon. KK said, “The purpose of that amended was for members to have an opportunity to access their funds before the end of the time. The Bill expects that you will have your money secured until you are 55 years old or until you retire. There are certain circumstances. However, this amendment brings in an opportunity for person to have access to their money in mid term.”
On the need for social security, AG KK noted that when you are still able to work, although the pay is low, imagine when you are not earing at all?
“People should understand that as they grow older, your children are also growing. So by the time you hit 55 years or retirement age, probably your children are going into Universities and you still need an income. That is the purpose of The Social Security Fund amendment.” Explained Attorney General Kiwanuka.
The Gender, Labour and Social Development Committee is handling this Bill.
- THE FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE BILL, 2021
The Bill is handled by The Agriculture, Animal Industries and Fisheries Committee. It’s 1st reading was also on 29th September, 2021.The Bill seeks to consolidate and reform the law relating to the management of Fisheries, Fisheries products and aquaculture.
The current Fisheries Act, Cap. 197 is insufficient in addressing the challenges and emerging issues in regulation and management of the Fisheries sector including; overcapacity, invasion of water bodies by aquatic weeds, limited support and investments in aquaculture, institutional challenges excessive pressure, destructive fishing malpractices, growth in illicit fish trade in immature fish, increasing local fish demand and decreasing per capita fish consumption.
Supporting the Bill, Kiryowa Kiwanuka noted that, “In the past Uganda had specific cash crops. Our Agriculture was based on coffee, cotton, tea, etc. But no where from the colonial and independence time did we ever have fisheries or Agriculture as a major aspect of our life. It was done socially within our society, just doing fishing to eat. That was the purpose. Now it’s changing.”
He talked about the population which is growing saying, “The pressure on water and our water bodies is increasing.The kind of things that we do with our water bodies is also increasing. Today you can find people building houses in the waters. This Bill will help government to manage resource that we have in fisheries.”
“Members, fisheries is a major source of income and of managed well, we will go a long way in assisting us balance our trade. But it is also important to note that there are societies which are predominantly doing fishing and others which are not but are business people. So this Bill is supposed to come and address this.” AG told UPPA journalists.
He gave an example that, when the businessman comes, he come for profits and when business is done, he or she goes away. “The Bill will help us deal with the bad practices in fishing and you all know the long fighting against fishing and etc.”
- THE LAND LORD AND TENANT BILL, 2021
This long awaited Bill, its1st reading was on 29th September, 2021. This Bill seeks to;
(a) Regulate the relationship of the landlord and the tenant
(b) Reform and consolidate the law relating to the letting of premises, and
(c) Provideo for the responsibilities of landlords and tenants in relation to the letting premises.
The Bill is under The Physical Infrastructure Committee.
AG Kiryowa Kiwanuka said, this Bill is intending to regulate the relationship between the tenant and the Landlord.
“It is a double edge sword because someone must build the structure in order for someone to rent it. And the person who builds it, builds it for a profit. However, government isn’t a businessman. It is here to protect the social aspects of the society.” He said, Government is aware that not everybody will be able to build a house at a particular time, therefore, the relationship between the tenant and the landlord is very important.
Giving an example, Kiwanuka who co-owns a legal company with Mr. Karugire (who is President Museveni’s 1st son-in-law) said, “Look at an incident when someone with a family is working and gets a salary, but over a sudden, he or she loses the job. But where he lives, the property belongs to the landlord. So what does the landlord do because he wants his money? He asks the tenant to leave the next day! This Bill will cater for this. Government will sit in the middle of tenants and the landlords. It’s role is to make sure that the society is safe.”
He said, the Bill will also determine the reasonable rent. “The government needs to balance the needs of the public with the needs of the businessmen/landlords. If the government sees that a certain section of the society is squeezed, then the government must come in.” Noted Kiryowa Kiwanuka.
- THE SUCCESSION (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021
The Bill seeks to amend the Succession Act, Cap. 162, to bring it in conformity with the Constitution and provide for gender equality in accordance with articles 21 and 33 of the Constitution by repealing sections that were declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.
This Bill provides further for the protection of principal residential property for the benefit of the surviving spouse and lineal descendants; revises the percentages of distribution of the estate and an intestate; provides for the duration of administration and execution of wills of deceased persons; and enhances penalties and prescribes penalties for contravention of the Act.
Its 1st reading was on 5th October, 2021. It’s under The Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee.
- THE SUPPLIMENTARY APPROPRIATION (No. 2) BILL, 2021
It’s handled by The Budget Committee (Standing Committee). Its 1st reading was on 29th September, 2021.
The purpose of this Bill is to make supplemantary appropriation out of the Consolidated Fund under Article 156 (3) of three Constitution and section 25 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 to meet the additional expenditure for the Financial Year 2018/2019.
- THE SUPPLIMENTARY APPROPRIATION (NO.3) BILL, 2021
The purpose of this Bill is to make supplementary appropriation out of the Consolidated Fund under Article 156 (3) of the Constitution and section 25 of the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 to meet additional expenditure for the Financial Year 2019/2020.
1st reading of this Bill was on 29th September, 2021. It’s under the Budget Committee (Standing Committee).
- THE PHYSICAL PLANNERS REGISTRATION BILL, 2021
Its 1st reading was on 5th October, 2021. It is handled by The Physical Infrastructure Committee.
The Bill seeks to;
(a) Provide for establishment of a Physical planners’ Registration Board
(b) Provide for the powers and functions of the Board
(c) provide for the registration of physical Planners, and
(d) Provide for disciplinary procedures for errant physical planners.
- THE EAST AFRICAN CRUDE OIL PIPELINE (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) BILL, 2021
This is one of the three new Bills that have been introduced for enactment by the 11th Parliament.
The Bill seeks to facilitate the implementation of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project in Uganda and to implement the obligations of Uganda under the intergovernmental Agreement and the Host Government Agreement and for related matters. Its 1st reading was on 5th October, 2021. It’s under The Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
- THE PUBLIC FINANCE MANAGEMENT (AMENDMENT) BILL, 2021
It’s also a new Bill. Its 1st reading was on 5th October, 2021.
The Bill seeks to amend the Public Finance Management Act, 2015 to enable the National Oil Company to retain proceeds from the sale of petroleum arising from the State participating interests in the applicable petroleum agreements for purposes of meeting it’s financial obligations arising from the applicable petroleum agreements and Joint Operating Agreements in each financial year, based on the approved work programme and budgets for the financial year in issue; for meeting obligations on its own behalf as well as on behalf of the State as provided for in the relevant petroleum agreements and the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline Act, 2021; to provide for the deposit by the National Oil Company of the balance from the proceeds retained into the Petroleum Fund and for the appropriation of funds to the National Oil Company for approved investments.
This Bill is handled by The Finance, Planning and Economic Development Committee.
- THE INCOME TAX (AMENDMENT) (NO.2) BILL, 2021
This is the third new Bill. Its 1st reading was on 19th October, 2021. It’s under The Finance, Planning and Development Committee.
The Bill seeks to amend the Income Tax Act, Cap. 340 to provide for windfall tax and limitation of deductions on petroleum operations.
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