Government has tabled before Parliament a new Anti-Terrorism bill that seeks to amend the definition of terrorism to improve Uganda’s counter terrorism framework.
The Anti-Terrorism Amendment No.2 Bill 2015 tabled by Internal Affairs Minister Akol Rose Okullo on December 24, provides punitive punishment for persons who willingly collect or provide funds directly or indirectly to other persons or organizations to carry out a terrorist act.
The Bill also makes it an offence for a person to travel outside Uganda for the purpose of planning or participating in a terrorist act or receive training to carry out terrorism against Uganda or any other state.
Although Minister Akol had asked the House to suspend rule 118 of the Rules of Procedure to have the Bill passed in one day without referring it to any Committee, legislators opposed the move.
MPs Eddie Kwizera, Nandala Mafabi, Elijah Okupa and Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda objected to the suspension of rules tasking government to explain the delay in tabling the Bill before the House for consideration.
They recommended that business before the House should follow the due process.
Minister Rose Akol had told MPs that the Bill was time bound as required by international conventions, which Uganda ratified. She said the country must have passed the Bill by the end of January 2016.
“The international obligation intends to put a stop to money laundering therefore failure to comply; the country will not be able to perform certain financial transactions and this is going to set us back,” Hon. Akol said.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Oulanyah Jacob, referred the Bill to the Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs for consideration.
Meanwhile, Parliament has been sent on recess following a decision made by the Deputy Speaker in the last sitting of the House.
Rt. Hon.Oulanyah said the House will be on recess for an unspecified period of time but urged legislators to shun violence during the campaigns and election period.
He noted that some acts of violence had already been exhibited. The Deputy Speaker called for restraint to ensure a clean election.
Source: Parliamentary News