The Democratic Party (DP) is rallying for a national referendum saying that it’s the only way to protect the country’s constitution, which they say is entrenched.
Speaking to the media on Monday after their three days’ retreat, DP president general, Mr Norbert Mao, said that they have written to the Electoral Commission (EC), in respect of whether the provisions of Article 23 of the Constitution of Uganda and sections of the Police Act on protection of personal liberty should be amended to make further restrictions.
“The constitution has been progressively disembowel and the internal organs have been removed and we basically have a shell. We want to give notice and request for a meeting with the EC so that we agree on a way forward because we are going to be moving around the country asking for signatures for citizens so that the referendum can be called,” he said.
“We are demanding for National referendum stating that the power of the judiciary to decide who gets bail and who shouldn’t, not to be tampered with. The government wants to tie the hands of the judiciary so that even if you’re limping to court you must still spend at least six months in prison which is not fair,” he further explained.
The cabinet tabled a proposal that Article 23(6) (b) of the Constitution be amended to provide that a person accused of committing an offence triable by both the High Court and subordinate courts, shall not be granted bail until after 180 days or trial commencement, or when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) discontinues proceedings, whichever is earlier.
They also proposed for changes in Article 23(4) (b) and Section 25 of the Police Act, both of which require a suspect to be released on police bond if not charged in court within 48 hours, to qualify the period as “forty-eight business hours
President Museveni chaired the Cabinet meeting, and ministers one by one were given opportunity to give their views. This was after the President asked Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, to guide Cabinet on how to proceed on the proposed constitutional amendments.
According to sources, Mr Kiryowa presented a brief on the proposed amendment to Article 23(6) (b) of the Constitution to provide that any person accused of committing an offence triable by both the High Court and subordinate courts, shall not be granted bail until after 180 days or trial commencement, or when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) discontinues proceedings, whichever is earlier.