National Sports Bill Tabled Amidst Complaints From Gov’t

Parliament Speaker Anita Among on Wednesday overruled the Minister of State for Sports, Peter Ogwang and allowed the tabling of a private member’s National Sports Bill.

The Bill sponsored by Budiope East Member of Parliament, Moses Hassim Magogo was tabled for its first reading by Bugiri Municipality MP, Asuman Basalirwa after the Speaker declined a request by government to have a consolidated proposed law tabled before the House soon.

Among referred the Bill to Parliament’s Committee on Education and Sports for consideration.

Earlier, the Minister of State for Sports, Peter Ogwang told parliament that there was already consultation between MP Magogo and the Ministry of Education and Sports regarding the Bill and that a lot of work has already been done to come up with a harmonized proposed law.

“As of now, the procedure requires us as Cabinet that before any Bill is brought before this August House, it has to go through Cabinet. For that case, Cabinet will look at this Bill on Monday and after that, I will bring it,” said Ogwang.

The Minister requested that parliament allows him presents a consolidated Bill next week after Cabinet meeting.

However, Speaker Among said that she had already made a ruling regarding the Bill and that a Member of Parliament under the rules of procedure has a right to present a private member’s Bill.

She said that government can always incorporate its proposals during the consideration of the Bill at the committee level.

MP Basalirwa said that the National Sports Bill was already gazetted and that the harmonization meeting with the Ministry of Education and Sports was meant to allow government proceed with the Bill but the delay has forced private member’s table it.

In response, Ogwang said that he was not against the Bill but only concerned with the processing of the Bill as per the parliament procedure.

In March, Among, the then Deputy Speaker deferred the Bill for its first reading, following an objection by the former Government Chief Whip, Thomas Tayebwa. Tayebwa then said that the Bill which was listed on the order paper had financial implications, and required government input.

He said that the government had made wide consultations and requested parliament to allow the government to work with Magogo to table a comprehensive Bill. Parliament also then learned that the government was finalizing the process of introducing the Sports Policy and that this would form the principles of the Bill.

Despite disapproval from a section of MPs, Among said that since the government had explained that they are not prepared to give a certificate of financial implication, they should be granted two weeks to harmonize with the mover of the Bill and table the National Sports Bill.

However, on Tuesday, Bugiri Municipality MP, Asuman Basalirwa questioned the delayed tabling of the Bill by the government as promised. Basalirwa, the seconder of the Private Members Bill said that it is now more than six months since the government made a commitment, yet no Bill has been presented to the House. This forced Speaker Among to direct that the private member’s Bill is tabled on Wednesday without any further delay.

The object of the Bill is to repeal the National Council of Sports Act. Cap 48 to establish the Uganda Sports Commission. The proposed law intends to consolidate and modernize the law relating to the incorporation and registration of national sports organizations and community clubs as well as provide for the management, promotion, development, and regulation of professional, amateur, and recreational sports in Uganda.

According to the Bill, lack of uniformity in the registration and incorporation of national sports associations and federations has resulted in governance and administration challenges including lack of legal personality, multiple reporting and regulatory legal regimes, interference and lack of independence of national sports associations contrary to international sports governing body regulations, existence of numerous national sports associations regulating a single sports discipline, wastage and mal-administration of the affairs and funds of national sports associations and federations.

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