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Museveni directs Parliament to convene over new districts

President Museveni and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga

President Yoweri Museveni has written to Parliament to convene a special sitting next week to attend to matters of urgent business.

In an August 21 letter, the President wants legislators to convene in a special sitting on September 1 to handle issues including; the creation of new districts; the Non-Governmental Organisation Bill 2015 and several loan requests.

Last week, Local Government Minister Adolf Mwesige, presented an amended motion seeking to create 23 new districts spread across four financial years. According to the motion, districts to be created effective July 1, 2016 include Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda. Those to come into effect by July 1, 2017 include Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabu.

On the other hand Nabilatuk, Bugweri, Kasanda, Kwania, Kapelebyong and Kikuube districts will become effective July 1, 2018 while Obongi, Kazo, Rwampara, Kitagwenda, Madi Okollo, Kalenga and Kalaki come into effect from July 1, 2019.

Also on the agenda of the special sitting is the passing of the NGO Bill, which has stirred controversy with the civil society accusing government of trying to frustrate and deliberately target their activities.

The Bill, which was tabled before Parliament in 2014, seeks to strengthen the capacity of the current NGO Board to regulate, register, coordinate and monitor activities of the NGOs.

It further seeks to provide for legal and procedural guidelines for NGOs through provision of a single regime for registration, issuance of permits and certificates of incorporation and dissolution of NGOs.

If enacted, NGOs found operating illegally without a permit will be liable, on conviction to a fine not exceeding Shs 4m. MPs are currently on recess. They are expected to convene for the special business and resume their break.

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