Parliament is set to start the consideration of proposals by government to merge and scrap off some agencies, in a move that will see over 2,200 civil servants laid off and over Shs.79Bn spent in compensation to the affected staff.
This followed the revelation by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja during the plenary sitting on Thursday, February 8,2024 that starting next week, rationalisation bills are going to be laid before Parliament from sectors of; Education, Internal Affairs, Works and Transport and Natural Resources and Environment.
If government is to maintain the proposals contained in the earlier Rationalisation of Government Agencies (Repeals and Amendment Bill 2023, among the agencies to be affected include; Uganda National Roads Authority, Uganda Road Fund that will revert back to the Ministry of Works and Transport.
The Higher Education Students Financing Board, National curriculum Development Centre will likely return to the Ministry of Education while; National Forestry Authority, Uganda National Meteorological Authority are expected to return to the Ministry of Water and Environment.
The Bills come at a time when government has been put on the spot by legislators over what they termed as piecemeal amendments to the Constitution in a bid to merge some government agencies.
Particularly in November 2023, MPs challenged the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2023 that entailed provisions to merge the Equal Opportunities Commission with the Uganda Human Rights Commission.
During plenary at the time, the Minister for Public Service, Hon. Wilson Muruli Mukasa, had committed to engage respective Parliament Committees on the agencies being rationalised, so as to present a concrete position to the House.
Relatedly, Nabbanja has also listed the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2023 among the business to be brought before Parliament in the succeeding week.
Five other Bills on the list include the National Tribunal Bill, 2023, the Uganda Health Professional Regulatory Council Bill, 2023, the Arbitration and Reconciliation (Amendment) Bill, 2024, the Karamoja Development Agency (Repeal) Bill, 2024 and the Electricity (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
“The Minister for Internal Affairs will also present a statement in the House updating the country on the process and guidelines on the renewal of national identification cards as requested by Parliament,” Nabbanja added.