The age limit bill, drafted by Igara West MP, Raphael Magyezi, could be withdrawn from the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee if the speaker Rebecca Kadaga agrees to the legislator’s request.
After being hounded out of the committee on Tuesday, Magyezi told journalists that he will seek the guidance of the speaker to see whether the bill can be taken to the whole House because he believes the Legal committee is biased against him.
Magyezi told journalists he was contemplating withdrawing the bill from the committee by lodging an appeal to Kadaga. By press time, it was clear whether he had put in this appeal.
“The committee is impartial and biased,” he said after MPs questioned the authenticity of some of the documents he had tabled. The documents included a certificate of financial implication which is supposed to accompany a private member’s bill.
Whereas many could look at this as an emotional statement, it is still debatable whether the bill can be retracted from the committee.
Wasswa Lule, a veteran politician, said this was possible since a committee is a subsection of parliament with delegated powers from the House.
He said: “The committee is given its powers by the House and it could decide to take back its power”
Lule asserted that committees are not places of convenience or comfort most especially if there are integrity or factual questions that ought to be cleared.
He said that given the bureaucracy in government, it is rather strange that Magyezi could get a certificate of financial implication in a matter of hours.
Captain Francis Babu, a senior NRM leader, said whereas the withdrawal of the bill could be possible, it would set a bad precedent.
“A committee does work that the entire parliament cant do including research, inviting non parliamentarians to come and give views. If Magyezi thinks article 102(b) is that simple and doesn’t require all this, he can have it merely put to a vote,” Babu said.
Babu said the process being undertaken by the Legal and Parliamentary affairs committee is just but academic and reports produced won’t affect the passing of the bill.
In the end, he said, the tyranny of numbers will come into play.