|A Complete Guide to Uganda's Fourth Constitution - History, Politics and the Law (Fountain Publishers, 1995, 118 p.)|
The Constitution making process which started in February 1989, with the appointment of the Uganda Constitutional Commission was completed on August 25, 1995, The new Constitution was enacted in September 1995 and promulgated on October 8,1995.
The new constitution
· spells out the national objectives and directive principles of state policy. The objectives and principles are to guide the parliament, the executive, the judiciary, all citizens in applying and interpreting the constitution.
· provides that Uganda is one sovereign state and republic.
· attaches ethnic identity on some districts.
· English is the official language. There is no provision for a national language, but the constitution encourages use of local languages.
· states that there shall be no state religion, but freedom of worship is enshrined in the new constitution. There are also provisions for special islamic courts - the kadhi's courts to deal with cases relating to marriage, divorce, succession among Moslems.
· accords citizenship by birth to persons (and their offsprings) who were residents within the borders of Uganda as at the first day of February, 1926.
· gives the ethnic groups in Uganda (see appendix VI).
· provides for rights of women, children and disabled persons.
· provides for affirmative action in favour of marginalised groups.
· guarantees the right to own property, right of access to information and right to vote.
· constitutionalises the Uganda Human Rights Commission and the Inspectorate of Government.
· provides for the right to form political organisations.
· entrenches political systems: movement political system; the multi-party political system and any other democratic and representative political system. Specifically prohibits the creation of a one-party state.
· stipulates a person shall be elected to hold office of president for a term of five years; limits the tenure of the president to two five year terms. A candidate will be declared president only when he polls over 50% of valid votes in the presidential election.
· provides that a total number of cabinet ministers shall not exceed twenty-one except with the approval of parliament.
· provides that the composition of parliament shall be as follows: directly elected representatives of constituencies; one woman representative for every district; and army, youth, worker, disabled representatives.
· empowers constituents to recall their member of parliament before the expiry of the term of parliament.
· provides for the system of local government to be based on decentralisation.
· renames the NRA as Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF).
· provides that the president may, in consultation with the cabinet, declare a state of emergency in Uganda or in any part of the country.
· empowers parliament to establish a leadership code of conduct for persons holding such offices as may be specified by parliament.
· provides for traditional or cultural leaders stating that the "institution of a traditional or cultural leader may exist in any area of Uganda in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions or wishes and aspirations of the people to whom it applies."
· provides for local government council with the district chairman as the political head of the district, elected by universal adult suffrage.
· stipulates that there shall be a Local Government Finance commission, and a District Service Commission in each district.
· contains provisions concerning the ammendment of the constitution.
· contains transitional provisions - the government of the National Resistance Movement existing immediately before coming into force of this constitution shall continue in office until a new government is elected in accordance with the constitution. Elections shall be held within nine months after the promulgation of the constitution.