The Republic of Uganda is not a country with an easy history to look at or speak about. Unfortunately there was a time when it was very easily one of the worst countries in the world to live in. Ravaged by civil war, military dictatorships, HIV AIDS and a collapsed economy especially in the decade of the 1980s- these are well known facts of history.
Whether or not one is in support of the Movement Government in power, the enactment of the 1995 Constitution is agreed to be a milestone in the country’s political history. Never before had the Country had a constitution with so many Ugandans’ input. It was the first of the three Constitutions Uganda has had which could be referred to as a Constitution of the people, a thing to cherish and claim ownership over. Perhaps this is why there is a huge deal of outcry over proposed changes being made to it.
HOW THE CONSTITUTION CAME INTO BEING
Between 1971 when President Idi Amin took over power and 1995 there was no substantive Constitution in force in Uganda.
The Constitution was adopted on 8th October 1995, just a day before the 9th of October a day which marks the independence of Uganda. The Making of this Constitution can be traced back to 1988 when the NRC (National Resistance Council) (which then acted as a legislature for the country) passed a Constitutional Commission Statute. The Constitutional Commission run by 21 Commissioners was largely responsible for the research, consultations and considerations that went into making a draft Constitution. In December 1993, the Commission presented a draft Constitution to be considered.
The next step was for the NRC to pass a Constituent Assembly Statute in 1993. The purporse of the Constituent Assembly was for ordinary citizens of the Country to debate the draft Constitution and determine for the people of Uganda the provisions which should be in the Constitution. In March 1994, 284 delegates were elected to the Constituent Assembly all over Uganda.
On 8th October 1995, the Constituent Assembly finished its work and the Constitution was promulgated. It was only after the Constitution was adopted that Presidential and Parliamentary Elections could be held.
WHY CONSTITUTION MONTH MATTERS
To us, the month of October is CONSTITUTION MONTH and we wish to present you with a post every day of October talking about the Constitution of Uganda in order to share our knowledge of it. Share with us in reading more and learning more about the Constitution that governs the lives of all people in Uganda whether Ugandan or not. Join us this month in sharing the Constitution and getting to learn more about it.
We present you with the Preamble of the Constitution below:
WE THE PEOPLE OF UGANDA:
RECALLING our history which has been characterised by political and constitutional
RECOGNISING our struggles against the forces of tyranny, oppression and exploitation;
COMMITTED to building a better future by establishing a socioeconomic and political order
through a popular and durable national Constitution based on the principles of unity, peace,
equality, democracy, freedom, social justice and progress;
EXERCISING our sovereign and inalienable right to determine the form of governance for our
country, and having fully participated in the Constitution-making process;
NOTING that a Constituent Assembly was established to represent us and to debate the Draft
Constitution prepared by the Uganda Constitutional Commission and to adopt and enact a
Constitution for Uganda:
DO HEREBY, in and through this Constituent Assembly solemnly adopt, enact and give to
ourselves and our posterity, this Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, this 22nd day of
September, in the year 1995.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY