Cover Image
close this bookA Complete Guide to Uganda's Fourth Constitution - History, Politics and the Law (Fountain Publishers, 1995, 118 p.)
close this folderChapters
View the document1. The Historical Background
View the document2. New State and Constitutionalism
View the document3. Towards the Fourth Constitution
View the document4. The CA Debate on the Draft Constitution
View the document5. The 1995 Constitution
View the document6. Summary and Conclusion

4. The CA Debate on the Draft Constitution

The Constituent Assembly convenes

After completion of the election exercise, delegates met at the International Conference Centre on May 12-13,1994 for the swearing-in ceremony which was presided over by the Chief Justice Sam Wako Wambuzi.

The formation of the Constituent Assembly entered its final stages when President Yoweri Museveni, in accordance with the Constituent Assembly Statute, submitted a list of five nominees, from which the delegates were to choose the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Assembly.

The five candidates were introduced to the Constituent Assembly at its first sitting on May 13, 1994, by the Chief Justice. They were Mr. James Francis Wambogo Wapakhabulo, then a Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities; Justice Jeremiah Herbert Ntabgoba, Principal Judge of the High Court; Mr Francis Joash Ayume, the Director and Chief General Manager, Four-way Group of Companies; Professor Victoria Mwaka of Makerere University, and Ms Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga the NRC women's representative for Kamuli District.

The election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman by secret ballot was held on 16 May, 1994. According to the procedural guidelines, a candidate had to obtain two-thirds of the total votes to be declared winner. In the vote for the chairman, James Wapakhabulo polled 192 out of 276 votes, Francis Ayume was runner-up with 82, Rebecca Kadaga got one vote and Prof. Victoria Mwaka got nil. Justice Herbert Ntabgoba withdrew from the race on grounds that campaigning and lobbying for political offices was incompatible with the code of conduct of Judges.

In a run up for the Deputy Chairman, Prof Victoria Mwaka emerged winner after two rounds of voting. In the first round, Prof. Mwaka got 187 votes against 54 for Francis Ayume and 36 for Kadaga. This result fell short of the required two thirds of the total votes cast. Accordingly, the second round was held. In this round, Prof Mwaka got 226 votes against 40 for Ayume and 5 for Kadaga.

The Constituent Assembly was officially opened by President Yoweri Museveni on May 18, 1994. He handed over the instruments of the Constituent Assembly which included the Draft Constitution and the Report of Uganda Constitutional Commission, to the Chairman James Wapakhabulo. The two documents were the basis of the Constituent Assembly debate on the new constitution for Uganda which was supposed to be radically different, in conception and content, from all the previous constitutions.


President Museveni hands over the Draft Constitution and the Report of the Constitutional Commission to the Chairman of the CA Mr James Waphakabulo during the official opening of the Assembly on May 18, 1994.

After the formal opening ceremonies, the CA finally began its deliberations on 20 May 1994. Business started with debate on rules and procedures of the CA.

The CA elected a nine-man adhoc committee to draft the rules and procedures. The Committee was composed of Steven Kavuma, as Chairman; Nathan Okwakol, Crispus Kiyonga, Winfred Odio, Omara Atubo, Joan Rwabyomere, Catherine Mavenjina, Elly Karuhanga and Damiano Lubega. Thereafter, the Assembly adjourned until 7th June 1994.

When the CA reconvened, on 7th June 1994, the Kavuma Committee submitted a number of recommendations about the rules and procedures which were debated and adopted. First, the quorum for transacting business was set at not less than half of the delegates. Secondly, it was agreed that the CA would sit for 32 hours a week including meeting on Saturdays and Sundays whenever necessary. Furthermore, the rules provided that a delegate who was absent for four consecutive sittings without permission from the chairman would face disciplinary action.

It was also agreed that during debate delegates should endeavour to reach decisions by consensus. The chairman's ruling would be based on 'ayes' and 'nos'. However, if the chairman's ruling was challenged by over 50 delegates, the subject at hand was to be settled in a division lobby. In this case, any matter which was not passed by two-thirds majority would considered contentious and the CA would adjourn for seven days for consultation. There was also a provision for referenda where the CADs failed to resolve any contentious issues. During the course of the CA debate there was only one contentious issue concerning the holding of presidential and parliamentary elections. This was resolved after consultation. Lastly, according to the Rules and Procedures Committee, if some delegates refused to sign the constitution on its enactment their action would not adversely affect its legality.

Out of the motions and recommendations of the Kavuma Committee, the CA established four standing committees to facilitate its work. These were:

i. The Business Committee. This committee was responsible for organising and managing the business and time-table of the CA. Its chairman was James Wapakhabulo and the deputy was Victoria Mwaka. The functions of this committee included the preparation and overseeing the CA work plan and co-ordination of the activities of the Assembly.

ii. The Legal and Drafting Committee This committee was charged with content and wording of the 1995 constitution. It also assisted in wording constitutional amendments during various stages of the constitution making process.

iii. The Rules and Orders Committee The duty of this committee was to advise the chairman on the order of business during the session and to make recommendations about any rules for enactment.

iv. The Privileges, Discipline and Welfare Committee This committee was charged with the responsibility of handling matters concerning delegates' welfare and general discipline. In course of its work, it liaised with the CA Secretariat on the welfare needs of the delegates.

Several factors conditioned the tone and course of the CA debate. The NRM government saw the constitution making process as a fulfilment of its promise to restore democracy and the rule of law. The NRM stressed the importance of producing a constitution which would ensure peace and stability after decades of violence and chaos. On the other hand, the critics of the establishment felt that the constitution making exercise was designed to entrench NRM in power. This laid the foundation for the emergence of two broad factions in the assembly.

Furthermore, the debate was shaped by the problem of regionalism. While the CA delegates from the western region were generally associated with the movement system, those from the north and east were considered to be sympathetic to multi-partyism. Buganda became an epicentre of federalism and monarchism, but its delegates initially oscillated between the movement and multi-partyists.

Another important factor was the external environment. The 1980s and 1990s have been marked by the triumph of western liberal democracy, which has influenced political reforms in the third world especially Africa. The western powers, who currently dominate world politics and economy, believe that democracy and multipartyism are inseparable. The multipartyist, therefore, expected the western powers to exert pressure on the NRM government to allow the revival of multi-party politics under the new constitution.

The CA debates ran through three major stages. The general debate started with delegates making general remarks and observations on politics and constitutionalism in Uganda. From their contributions in the general debate, it became clear that there were compelling reasons for overhauling several aspects of governance in the country. Basically, the contributions revolved around various issues including forms and systems of government, land, human rights, corruption, citizenship, the role of the army and Buganda as well as ethnicity, customary law and cultural traditions.

The CA general debate was designed to heal the political wounds of the past, to minimise mutual distrust, to build confidence between delegates and to lay foundations for reconciliation, mutual respect and consensus. The delegates were free enough to trade accusations and counter-accusations about the causes of political unheavals in post-colonial Uganda. It was expected that having let off steam the delegates would discuss the details of the Draft Constitution in a calm, rational and accommodative atmosphere.

The movement supporters blamed the disunity in Uganda on sectarian parties and the politics of winner-take-all. The multi-partyists, on their part, accused the movement system of violating the right of association. They called for restoration of pluralism, without modifications. The thrust of their argument was that rights cannot be decided by vote. Though bitterness and anger characterised the debates, the assembly was orderly most of the time and continued with its deliberations without serious confrontation.

Despite their ideological and political differences, the delegates committed themselves to making a viable constitution which would ensure peaceful succession of government. The delegates were determined to make a constitution under which the road to power was through the ballot rather than the gun.

After the general debate, the CA began the main task for debating the constitution. This was known as the consideration stage. Initially, all the discussion of the Draft Constitution was planned to take place in the plenary sessions. But it was soon realised that plenary sessions were too slow for comfort, this necessitated the formation of five select committees to handle specific chapters of the draft constitution and to submit their reports to the general plenary for consideration.

Committee I covered chapters 12-Public Service, 15-Inspectorate of Government, 16-Leadership Code, 17-Land and Environment, and 19-Amendments to the Constitution. It also handled the first schedule on boundaries of Uganda, and the third schedule on oaths of allegiance and the presidential oath.

Committee II debated Chapters 7-The Executive, 8-The Legislature and 10-The Judiciary. Committee III handled chapters 11-Finance, 14-Defence and National Security. Committee IV dealt with chapters 2-Republic, 4-Citizenship, 13-Local Government, 18-General and Miscellaneous. And Committee V considered chapters 6-Representation of the people and 20-Transitional Provisions.

The emergence of caucuses

The rise of caucuses was not only a new innovation in Uganda's politics but also shaped the course and pace of the constitutional debate. From the outset, caucuses were intended to organise and lobby for support for various components of the draft constitution. There were a number of caucuses in the CA, the most important of which were the National Caucus for Democracy (NCD), the NRM, and Buganda.

The NCD came into existence on July 14,1994. It was formed by 16 CADs whose stated aim was to oversee the constitutional making process and also to facilitate the convergence of divergent political positions. The Buganda caucus was primarily concerned with articulation of me interests of that region. The NRM caucus was determined to block the immediate revival of multipartism and to consolidate the achievements which had been made since 1986.

During the course of the debate howerver, NCD became the principal platform for multi-party agitation. Its strategy was to bring together multipartyists and federalists to oppose the NRM constitutional aspirations. The NCD was determined to fight for the immediate restoration of political parties. However, since the multipartyists in the Assembly were a small minority, they sought to cultivate a tactical alliance with supporters of federalism in Buganda. To appeal to the federalists, the NCD replaced its founder Chairman Aggrey Awori with Sebana Kizito who was committed to both federalism and multipartyism.

The Buganda caucus was characterised by divergent tendencies. In this caucus, there were three political opinions. First, there were monarchists who embraced the federal campaign in order to consolidate the Buganda monarchy and revive the power of the Mengo regime. Secondly, there were federalists who preferred one Buganda region with a federal status and a non-political Kabaka. Thirdly, there were moderates espousing decentralisation of power from the central government to the districts. These divergencies rendered the Buganda caucus ineffective.

In the NRM caucus, there was a liberal wing which recommended the revival of political parties in 2 to 3 years after the enactment of the new constitution. On the other hand, there were the hard-liners who regarded the return of political parties as an intolerable threat to peace, unity, stability and progress.

The course of the debate

Broadly speaking, there were three categories of issues in the CA debate on the Draft Constitution. There were those provisions (Chapters 1, 3 and 5) which were quickly debated and passed. These included the supremacy of the constitution, the sovereignty of the people, the national objectives and directives of state policy, and the fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Some of the contents of the Draft Constitutions were unanimously rejected. The most important of these was the proposed National Council of State (NCS). Under the Draft Constitution, the NCS was justified on the ground that it would resolve conflicts between various state organs especially the executive and legislature. The NCS idea had emanated from some of the submissions to the Uganda Constitutional Commission. The NCS as supposed to prevent the recurrence of conflicts between various state organs which had previously caused political unheavals. The Commission therefore recommended the NCS as a means to ensure peaceful resolution of conflicts.

According to the draft constitution, the NCS was to consist of the President as its Chairman, the Vice-President; Speaker and Deputy Speaker of Parliament, ten members of the cabinet appointed by the President, one representative from each of the districts of Uganda elected by district councils from among members of parliament and five women representatives elected by parliament from among women parliamentarians.

The National Council of State was rejected because the Assembly feared that it would undermine the principles of separation of powers between the executive and legislature. Delegates argued that given its composition the NCS would be dominated by the executive. Indeed, several delegates considered the NCS as an NRM ploy to undermine the power of the legislature. However, the fact that the NCS was unanimously rejected partly demonstrated that the NRM had no hidden agenda in the constitutional making process.

Three issues in the Draft Constitution proved controversial and threatened to bog down the work of the assembly. The first of these was the position of Buganda in the new constitution. Some Buganda CADs demanded the restoration of the pre-1966 federal status of the kingdom. Under this constitutional arrangement, all the districts in Buganda would owe allegiance and pay taxes to the Mengo government These advocates were convinced of federalism that it was the only way to restore the past glory of Buganda.

The Lukiiko also proposed that the Kabaka should be given more powers to include the right to collect dues and administer the kingdom of Buganda. The Kabaka was to be a non-partisan titular head of the kingdom without political powers. His jurisdiction would be limited to Buganda.

Given that kingdoms had already been restored, some Baganda CADs were even opposed to the use of the world republicanism in the new constitution. They proposed that "Republic of Uganda" should be deleted from the constitution and replaced with the "Sovereign State of Uganda." But this proposal was blocked by the majority of delegates who, under Article 5 (i) of the 1995 constitution, resolved that Uganda was "One Sovereign State and a Republic."

The Lukiiko used a number of tactics in pursuit of Buganda's constitutional demands. For one thing, it attempted to transform the CA delegates from Buganda into its mere spokemen. And yet the Lukiiko had no mandate to direct delegates who were elected by the people. In order to broaden the appeal for federalism outside Buganda, the Lukiiko proposed that Uganda should have fourteen federal states - Acholi, Ankole, Bunyoro, Buganda, Busoga, Elgon, Karamoja, Kigezi, Lango, Rwenzori, Tororo and West Nile with Kampala as a semi-autonomous state under the central government. More importantly, the Lukiiko sought to deal with the constitutional future of Buganda outside the CA constitutional framework. They held a series of meetings with the President. But the Lukiiko was not able to circumvent CA which was the only legitimate body to debate and enact the new constitution.

Buganda's demands met stiff resistance from the CA. Even delegates from the region had ambivalent attitudes towards a federated Buganda. Several factors weakened Buganda' bargaining position. First of all, the Buganda constitutional demands were presented with a lot of tribal emotions which did not impress most of the delegates. For example, when a children's CA mock debate, marking the African Child Day, recommended the abolition of kingdoms in the new constitution, some Buganda CADs were outraged. These delegates went as far as issuing threats that anyone who did not want kingdoms in the new constitution should leave the country. Secondly, the majority of the delegates feared that federalism was the first step towards Buganda secession. First and foremost, the ideological composition of the Assembly was not favourable to federalism. Most of the CADs including some from Buganda were committed republicans who were not ready to compromise their positions. And the Buganda delegates had divergent opinions on Buganda's interests. The moderates wanted the existence of me Kabaka and recognition of Buganda's culture without a federal framework. The prospects for Buganda getting a federal status were therefore very remote.

But the radical conservatives who had majority backing from Mengo were fighting for a full federal status. The Lukiiko emerged as a force fighting for federation in Buganda; it tried to direct Buganda delegates without much succcess, due to differences in political perception. In some instances, the Buganda CADs were wary of the Lukiiko pretensions as if a representative organ of Buganda. Yet it lacked the electoral mandate, which the CA Buganda delegates, had on constitutional matters. The CADs saw the Lukiiko's pronouncements as an attempt to erode their legitimacy. In fact, Mengo tried to get federalism through negotiations with the NRM, which had no powers to grant a federal status to Buganda.

But other forces outside the CA countered Mengo's demands. For instance, the District Resistance Councils (DRCs) within Buganda resolved to adopt decentralisation which was already being implemented before the constitution debate. RCs had had the opportunity to work under a decentralisation, and enjoyed the powers (like controlling district budgets) that had been decentralised. Therefore, they could not surrender such powers to distant Mengo since this would represent another form of high centralisation within Buganda region.

Accordingly, federalism was rejected as a form of government. Interestingly enough, the debate on federalism brought about a temporary realignment of political forces in Uganda politics. Multiparty advocates picked the gauntlet and backed the federal demand. UPC strategists whose party abolished the federal constitution of 1962 made a surprising u-turn and supported a federal form of government. UPC's sudden change of position on the question of federalism was contrived to create an anti-NRM marriage of convenience between the federalists and multi-partyists, reminiscent of the UPC-KY alliance of the early 1960s. Evidently, the amendment seeking to establish a federal system based on regions which was jointly drafted by federalists and multipartyists was moved by John Eresu a multiparty advocate. But in a dramatic turn of events, a leading Buganda royalist, Prince Besweri Mulondo (who had participated in drafting the joint amendment) during the debate criticised the alliance between multipartyists (especially UPC) and Buganda in the fight for federalism, and voted against it. The Lukiiko and some Buganda CADs accused Mulondo of conspiring with anti-Buganda forces to defeat federalism. This was interpreted as betrayal of the Buganda's cause. Consequently, he was stripped of his status of Ssabalangira (chief prince) of Buganda. However, the Buganda federalists glossed over one fundamental fact that Mulondo's contribution did not necessarily sway the Assembly to reject federalism. Even before Mulondo's dramatic intervention, the majority of the CA delegates were opposed to federalism. The opponents of federalism saw it as a threat to the unity and territorial integrity of the country. The multiparty-federalist alliance was the final blow to the campaign for federalism.

Though Buganda did not get all its demands, it managed to extract many concessions from the Assembly. The new constitution recognises Buganda as a distinct entity. For example, in the new constitution there is the tag of Buganda after Mukono, Mpigi, Luwero, Kiboga, Kalangala, Masaka, Mubende and Rakai. The same recognition has been extended to other old districts such as Lango, Acholi, Busoga, Sebei, Bunyoro, Tooro, Madi and Ankole.

In addition, the CA passed article 201 (i)1 stating that "the districts of Buganda as specified in the fifth schedule to this constitution shall be deemed to have agreed to co-operate on the commencement of this constitution." But the deeming of the districts is qualified, for article 201 (iv)2 provides that "Any of the districts may withdraw from the cooperation under this Article if a resolution is passed by the district council of the district in favour of withdrawal, supported by two-thirds majority".

1 Article 201 (i) in the new constitution is Article 178(3)

2 Article 201 (iv) in the new constitution is Article 178 (4)

In Buganda the above-mentioned concessions were received with mixed feelings. While some delegates welcomed the "deeming" of the districts of Buganda "as seeds of federalism", others insisted that Buganda was let down. This sense of dissatisfaction may not augur well for the total acceptability of the new constitution.

Instead of federalism, the Constituent Assembly preferred decentralisation at district level. In effect, the CA endorsed the NRM policy of decentralisation which was already in progress before the constitution debate began. The objective of decentralisation was to devolve power from the centre to the districts and, by so doing, to enhance popular participation in the political and economic development of the country.

The second controversial issue revolved around the choice between the movement and multiparty political systems. The Draft Constitution provided (Articles 94-98) that the movement system, which was in existence prior to the enactment of the new constitution, should continue in existence for another five years. During these years, the political parties would be in abeyance. Thereafter, a referendum would be held for the people to decide on a political system of their choice.

This provision polarised the CA into movement and pro-multiparty delegates. Multiparty advocates argued that the freedom of association was an inalienable right which could not be determined by majority votes. Apart from the immediate revival of multi-party politics, the multiparty supporters demanded that an interim government of national unity composed of all political parties, should govern the country for a transitional period of three years after the commencement of the new constitution. On the other hand, the supporters of the movement insisted that the country was not ready for divisive politics. In their view, the revival of multipartism at this stage of the country's constitutional development would compromise the progress which has been made to attain national stability and reconciliation.


Figure

Exhausted but determined: CA Chairman James Wapakabulo delicately steers the debate on political systems before calling on members (below) to say "Aye " or "No "to a motion to delete the movement from the constitution as a system of governance.


Figure

After a heated debate about the virtues of movement vis-a-vis multipartyism. Committee V, recommended to the plenary the adoption of the proposal in the Draft Constitution. Having lost in Committee V, the multipartists moved an amendment in the plenary session to delete article 94 which provided for the movement system of government in the constitution. This amendment was rejected by 199 to 68 votes with two abstentions.

When the amendment was defeated multipartyists walked out in protest. The sixty delegates who walked out were Paul Ssemwogerere, Cecilia Ogwal (Mrs), Prof. Dan Nabudere, Robert Kitariko, John Sebana Kizito, Tiberio Okeny Otwoma, Leander Komakech, Yefusa Okullu Epak, Nathan Okwakol, Wasswa Lule, Omara Atubo, James Obua Otoa Nangai, Akisoferi Ogola, Dick Oduri, Timothy Langoya, Abu Mayanja, Yusuf Nsubuga Nsambu, Damiano Lubega, George Masika, Pius Sempa Kawere, Adoko Nekyon, Sam Kalega Njuba, John Muyiisa, Dick Nyai, Stephen Semala, Zubairi Atamvaku, William Wanendeya, Ben Wacha, Aggrey Owori, Omolo Peter, John Baptist Kawanga, Ojok B'Leo, Ambrose Atwoki, Maurice Kagimu Kiwanuka, Anthony Ssekweyama, Lubega Mutagambwa (Mrs), John Kasaija Byakika, Prof. Senteza Kajubi, Joseph Mulenga, Otuku Onyok, Darlington Sakwa, James Ajai Atare, Charles Okula, Ben Etonu, Onegi Obel, James Okanya, Odoi Asoka, Deogratious Lumala, Oneti Batia, Sam Ringwegi, Reiner Kafire (Mrs), Winfred Adio (Mrs), Andrew Adimola, Alice Oryema Akabo (Mrs) Charles Owor, Patrick Mwondha and Hensley Okalebo.

Just before walking out, Mr. Joseph Mulenga, a spokeman of the group told the Assembly that they recognised that 98% of the work on the constitution had already been accomplished. But they were walking out as protest which they wanted to be on record and that they did not rule out the possibility of returning to the house.

However, not all the multiparty supporters joined the protest. Some of the delegates namely Owiny Dollo, Mayanja Nkangi, John Eresu Elyanu, Mike Elyau and David Mwaka, saw the walk out as a futile gesture and stayed in the CA. Predictably, the walkout had no impact on CA plenary deliberations, other than generating debate in the newspapers.

The walk out did not prevent the delegates who stayed behind from passing subsequent clauses. The clauses provided for the entrenchment of the movement, multipartism and any other democratic system in article 69 in the new constitution. This article provides that:

(i) The people of Uganda shall have the right to choose and adopt a political system of their choice through free and fair elections or referenda.

(ii) The political systems referred to in clause (i) of this article shall include:

(a) the movement political system;

(b) the multiparty political system; and

(c) any other democratic and representative political system.

The multipartists attempted to re-open the debate on article 92 in the Draft Constitution during the reconsideration stage. They argued that it was not prudent to entrench the political systems in the constitution. For them, the entrenchment of political systems was in effect denying Ugandans a chance to freely choose their own system of governance. They also objected to articles 96 and 97 of the final draft constitution which in the new constitution articles provide that:

73 (i) Subject to the provision of this Constitution, during the period when any of the political systems provided for in this Constitution has been adopted, organisations subscribing to other political systems may exist subject to such regulations as parliament shall by law prescribe.

74 (i) A referendum shall be held for the purpose of changing the political system.

As far as the multiparty advocates were concerned, the use of periodic referenda to determine the political system would be a costly source of instability. Besides, referenda could easily be manipulated by the system in power, they said. These arguments were rejected and the motion was overwhelmingly defeated.

According to the movement advocates, the fears of the critics of entrenching political systems in the new constitution were not justified. On the contrary, the holding of referenda on the political systems at regular intervals would enhance democracy and popular participation. In fact, the movement supporters saw the referenda at regular intervals as a radical innovation to build democracy in the third world. In support of their arguments, they pointed out that in the western world, referenda have became increasingly common because of the realisation that representative democracy does not always reflect the views and interests of the voters on particular subjects. The political systems as prescribed in the new constitution were therefore seen as a guarantee to democracy. Moreover, they said, a one-party system, which is generally considered undemocratic, is proscribed under article 75 stating that parliament shall have no power to enact a law establishing a one-party state.

Land was the third issue of controversy during the CA debate. Under the new constitution, land in Uganda belongs to the citizens of Uganda and shall be vested in them in accordance with the land tenure systems provided for in the new constitution. These are customary, freehold/mailo and leasehold.

But the issue of absentee landlords in the former 'lost counties', - Bugangaizi, Buyanja and Buyaga (Kibale District) - was not satisfactorily resolved. Most of the land in Bugangaizi, Buyaga, and Buyanja is owned by absentee mailo landlords. These counties were annexed to Buganda in recognition of its participation in the British conquest of Bunyoro at the beginning of the century. The problem of land ownership in Kibale District came up during the 1961/1962 London constitution conference. The referendum of 1964, which transferred the lost counties from Buganda to Bunyoro, did not resolve the question of absentee landlordism.

This meant that the indigenous people of Buyaga, Buyanja and Bugangaizi remained squatters in the land of their ancestors. It is not surprising, therefore, that this problem re-surfaced during the course of the CA debate on the status of land ownership in the new constitution. One amendment sought to abolish the rights of absentee landlords not only in Kibale but also in Mbarara, Kasese, Bushenyi and Ntungamo districts.

After the heated debate on the pros and cons of absentee landlordism, Committee I recommended that land in Kibale District should revert to customary owners whose ancestors had owned that land before 1900. The committee further recommended that within two years after the promulgation of the new constitution, mailo land owners in the three counties should be compensated for the loss of their land rights.

When the two recommendations were presented to the plenary session, there was no consensus on the mailo land issue in Bugangaizi, Buyanja and Buyaga. To break the deadlock, the CA set up a five-man committee, composed of Prof. Dan Nabudere, Sam Kutesa, Edward Sekandi, Baguma-Isoke and Dr. Fabius Byaruhanga, to work out a compromise amendment to cater for the competing interests of the customary tenants and the absentee landlords. This committee recommended that the first parliament after the promulgation of the new constitution should make a law to regulate the relationship between the bonafide occupiers and the registered owners. This recommendation was endorsed by the CA. This meant that the resolution of the land question in Kibale District was once more post-poned.