46 districts support regional tier

46 districts support regional tier

EMMANUEL MULONDO
Kampala

Fourty-six out of the 69 districts in the country voted in favour of the Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2, 2005 which provides for cooperation of districts.Daily Monitor has learnt that the exercise of ratification of the Bill was concluded successfully and results returned to the Electoral Commission (EC).

District councils have been voting on the matter which was referred to them last month after the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Edward Ssekandi, asked the commission to oversee the ratification process. Parliament passed the Bill in August.Article 260 of the Constitution requires that amendment of articles to do with local governments be supported by not less than two thirds of all MPs and ratified by at least two thirds of all the district councils in the country. "

So 46 out of 69 districts is I think well above the two thirds required," a source in the Electoral Commission said.The EC Spokesman, Mr Okello Jabweli, said, "The commission was given a task. The results are back. The commission will transmit the results to the Speaker. It's the Speaker to announce the results."

He said he was yet to get the details, but Daily Monitor learnt that some of the districts that declined to ratify included Bundibugyo, Kalangala, Kampala, Kapchorwa, Luweero, Nebbi, Mpigi, Katakwi, Kamwenge, Kaberamaido, Nakapiripirit and Bukwo.

A source said the commission would before the end of the week communicate the results to the Speaker who will announce them to the nation.

The Bill shall now be forwarded to the President for assent. It will then become law, ready for implementation.Districts that decide to cooperate shall be in position to put up a joint administration to handle specified tasks, which shall be funded by the cooperating districts and the central government.

However, the arrangement has been criticised by the Mengo establishment, who view it as watering down of the region's federal quest. Mengo has already sounded itself against the provision to have an elected regional leader (Katikkiro), the financing of the regional government and the administration of land within the region.

"We believe the ratification is not the end of the road. Before the President assents to the Bill, it can always be returned to Parliament for review. A lot of things can be revisited," Mr Charles Peter Mayiga, the Minister in charge of Youth and Cabinet Affairs in the Mengo government, said."

A procedure is there for revisiting it," he said.
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