Gov’t Seeks to Repeal 90 Acts Under Law Revision Bill

Government has listed a total of 90 Acts that it seeks to repeal under the Law Revision (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, 2022.

The Acts sought for repeal are reported to be obsolete, superseded by other laws, redundant, among other justifications.

Those identified as obsolete by government are Enguli (Manufacture and Licensing) Act, Justices of Peace Act, Loans (United Kingdom Government) Act, Marriage of Africans Act, Tax Exemption (Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces, Uganda Police Force and Uganda Prisons Services) Act, Maintenance Orders Enforcement Act, Uganda Government Securities Act and others.

The other obsolete laws are the Trout Protection Act, Foreign Service Officers (Fees and Charges) Act, Agricultural and Livestock Development Fund, Aerodromes (Control) Act, Aerodromes (Control of Obstructions) Act and the Airport Services Charges Act.

A total of 12 laws proposed for repeal have been identified as redundant and these are the Church of England Trustees Act, New Vision Printing and Publishing Corporation Act, National Textiles Board Act, National Tobacco Corporation Act, Uganda Steel Corporation Act, Wood Industries Corporation Act, Robbery Suspects Act, Evidence (Bankers’ Books) Act, Administration of Estates by Consular Officers Act, Treasury Bills Act, Self-Help Project Act, and the Foreign Seamen Deserters Act.

Those superseded by other laws are the Sleeping Sickness Act, Tsetse Fly Control Act, Rivers Act, Adulteration of Produce Act, Produce Protection Act, Prohibition of Burning of Grass Act, Liquor Act, Shop Hours Act, Potable Spirits Act, Phosphorous Matches Act, Uganda Wildlife Training Institute Act, Parliamentary Elections (Interim Provisions) Act, Public Collections Act and others.  

The others are; External Assistance Act, Finance Act 1974- 2016, Premium Development Fund, Rent Restriction Act, Development Loans Fund Act, Loans Act, Local Authorities Loan Fund Act, Cantonments Act, Uganda Planning Commissions Act, Surcharges (Revenue) Act, Tax Reserve Certificates Act, Taxes and Duties (Provisional Collection) Act, Budget Act, Specified Goods Act and others.

Jackson Kafuuzi, the Deputy Attorney General tabled the Law Revision (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill that seeks to repeal these laws before Parliament on Friday. Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa referred the same to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for consideration.

Kafuuzi says that over the 22-year period, there have been a lot of amendments made to the laws of Uganda and that the Bill is intended to facilitate the process of preparing the revised edition of the laws of Uganda by making amendments to specified laws, where the amendment can only be effected using an Act of Parliament.

“To this end, ninety Acts of Parliament have been identified for repeal. These include Acts that were affected by the Government policy on liberalization of trade, laws that have become redundant due to the passage of time, laws that have been superseded by other laws and laws that have served their purpose and are therefore spent,” explains Kafuuzi.

Besides repealing the 90 Acts, the object of the Bill is to also harmonize the use of the currency point system in all laws of Uganda as well as modify low fees, costs and values in specified Acts.

The Deputy Attorney General says that generally, the application of laws has become increasingly difficult and that some of the laws of Uganda are perceived as “weak” due to the low fines.

He mentions the enforcement of the Presidential directives and the Rules that were made under the Public Health Act, Cap 281 during the COVID – l9 lockdown as an example.

Kafuuzi says that their application was difficult due to the low fines in the Public Health Act, Cap 281 and due to the fact that the alternative of imprisonment would have led to congestion in the prisons and police cells and to a further spread of COVID – 19.

“The low fines have therefore been modified and presented in currency points to enable effective application of the affected laws,” says Kafuuzi.

The Bill also seeks to amend six Acts, to reflect the decisions of the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court that declared their provisions null and void. Some of these Acts are the Parliament (Remuneration of Members) Act, the Divorce Act, Access to Information Act and others.

Asuman Basalirwa, the Bugiri Municipality who intended to move a Private Member’s Bill with the same Bill title, expresses concern that the Government Bill did not cater for some of his interests.

He added that the Government Bill has no amendments on the Public Order Management Act and the Police Act, which issues are judicial pronouncements.

“Unfortunately, the Courts are still charging people under laws that were declared unconstitutional but are still in our law books,” says Basalirwa.

Tayebwa suggested that Basalirwa interfaces with the Attorney General and Parliament’s General Counsel, to harmonize the issues raised.

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