What you need to know:
- Hope Remains. This week, Eng. Moses Magogo, the Fufa president and Member of Parliament for Budiope East constituency, was granted ‘Leave of Parliament’ to draft a new sports bill.
- Ugandan sports is currently regulated by the 1964 National Council of Sports (NCS) Act which many describe as archaic.
- Sunday Monitor Denis Bbosa sat down to understand the intentions behind the new bill that will could change sports for good.
What is the sports bill about?
As a country, every activity is regulated by law. And sport is supposed to be regulated by law or a set of laws. Currently when a law is set to be made, it first comes as a bill, until it has been passed by parliament and accented to by the president. The bill is an intended law that will become a working document.
How long will it take?
It is not how long but a process. Laws brought by government or through private member. Sometimes it is through the ministries but for some reason they haven’t. As an MP am constitutionally empowered to bring one, I was granted leave to go and draft the bill, will bring to for first reading, at that point they will take it to the relevant committees of parliament, I will get a certificate of financial clearance, the various stakeholders will join when it goes to the committees, I will present it, it will then be brought for second reading and after third reading it will be adopted by parliament and sent to president who will accent to it if the has changes if he and then it will be passed into law and effectively it will start working. I would want it to take a day because it’s too late, it’s one of the key principals why I went to parliament and I will spend nights on it.
Will it not lag on the president’s desk?
Sports is not controversial and supported by all, normally bills that delay are controversial, we don’t expect to take much time at the president’s desk
Are you alone on this?
The seconder (Hon. Solomon Kayemba) also wanted but I will take the lead. Behind the scenes, there are many who will to join that’s why everybody supported it unanimously I will do the drafting but others will join in at some stage.
Other benefits apart from regulating sports
Everything starts with regulation. There are challenges in sport in Uganda and the law will help on that. Uganda is a member of UN and UA and must follow the chatters. It is a right for people in the constitution to get sports services. The government is mandated to provide infrastructure, funding the sports entities and then the law. To get one and two you need the law. The sports bill will clarify on that.
What happened to the physical education and sports bill?
I don’t know, it must have suffered a stillbirth in my view. It was being done exclusively. We gave our views as Fufa. It addressed other challenges. We are talking about commerce and economics and it was talking about sauna and physical education. The people working on it didn’t want to listen to alternative views.
What is NCS view on the proposed sports bill?
We have similar challenges. In my drafted bill we are addressing challenges of the sector. It is not only from the federation point of view but the regulator should also be empowered.
At the moment to become a federation you need to go to the ministry of lands to get an incorporation certificate and show trustees. You’re not empowering the ministry and regulator to handle membership. We are working to change this. Second example, today the NCS board is chosen by minister, what is wrong with the board being composed by people from the federations that face day to day running of those entities.
This is why I went to parliament – to make change. Parliament is benefitting from my present because I have the knowhow and passion. The law is long overdue. Most of the British colonies had similar law but the likes of Ghana, Tanzania and Kenya have moved on. If we achieve this we will unlock the Ugandan sports potential. This sports bill is supported across the entire political divide. Sports is a unifier.
Aren’t you trying to make a law that favours you as Fufa President?
Drafting it and making the law is different. It will be discussed and we shall know from the content that it is for all and all other contributors will come in.
What other areas is the sports bill trying to address?
Incorporation such that the federation can have a legal personality, governance and promotion of amateur sports.
Match fixing and betting are vices we can abate in new law, we need a drug free sport, [protecting the commercial rights of players, referees and federations, sport outlaws going to courts of law yet justice is supposed to be done not failed, we need to create a court of arbitration for sports and decision should be final and accepted by international federation not running to expensive Zurich all the time, protecting infrastructure existing and establishing new ones, rewarding system after success. We are sport and for some reasons we are favoured, and we believe it will not delay.
Any other element…
People must be patient because it’s going to be a long process, when it is done it must give the minister regulations, the 1964 act regulations came in 2014, we can’t wait for that this time. When the law comes out it should be acceptable by the nation.
What does getting leave mean?
It means you’re accorded time to go and draft the bill, it is very tedious and working with parliament laws experts, you get these ideas and put them, language that speaks like law. It is a procedural matter. I have already drafted the bill because I have been around it, will get a certificate of financial clearance from ministry of finance, it will soon be sent to committee, then involve other people, taken for second reading and when decision is done it is sent to the president.
Steps taken in drafting a law in Uganda
1. The Ministry concerned approaches Cabinet through a Cabinet Memorandum with a proposal for Cabinet to approve the principles for the drafting of the Bill. Cabinet approval in principle is required before drafting of the subject legislation. This is provided for under paragraph 2 of Section (Q-b) of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, 2010.
2. Paragraph 2(b) of Section (Q-b) however permits a Bill to be drafted by the First Parliamentary Counsel if the Attorney General or Solicitor General authorises the drafting of the Bill without reference to Cabinet. According to the paragraph, this authority should be granted only in special circumstances. The request for the authority should be made through the responsible Minister.
3. Cabinet then considers the proposals as contained in the Cabinet Memorandum of the Ministry concerned and approves the principles on the basis of which a Bill is to be drafted.
4. When Cabinet approves the principles for the drafting of a Bill, it authorizes the responsible Minister to issue drafting instructions to the First Parliamentary Counsel/Attorney General to draft the necessary legislation.
5. The Ministry concerned would then request the First Parliamentary Counsel through the Attorney General to draft the legislation on the basis of the approved principles as contained in a Cabinet Minute.
6. Where the instructions are not clear, the First Parliamentary Counsel will ask the Ministry concerned for further instructions and where necessary request that Ministry to identify an officer in the Ministry to liaise with the office of First Parliamentary Counsel in the drafting of the Bill.
7. In drafting the legislation, the office of the First Parliamentary Counsel will interact with the Ministry concerned to arrive at an agreed draft.
8. The Ministry concerned may again consult stakeholders as to the contents of the Bill.
9. The Ministry concerned will have to submit the Bill to Cabinet for approval together with a Cabinet Memorandum and any comments of the stakeholders. Paragraph 7 of Section (Q-b) of the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, 2010 provides that no Bill without exception should be published unless it has been submitted to Cabinet for approval.
In the course of drafting the Bill the draftsperson is required to bear in mind the need to keep informed the Law Officers namely, the Attorney General and the Solicitor General. This is regulated by paragraph 6 of Section (Q-b).