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Table of Contents

  1. Preamble
  2. NATIONAL OBJECTIVES AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY
  3. GENERAL
  4. POLITICAL OBJECTIVES
  5. PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF FUNDAMENTAL AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
  6. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC OBJECTIVES
  7. CULTURAL OBJECTIVES
  8. ACCOUNTABILITY
  9. THE ENVIRONMENT
  10. FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES
  11. DUTIES OF A CITIZEN
  12. CHAPTER 1. THE CONSTITUTION
  13. CHAPTER 2. THE REPUBLIC
  14. CHAPTER 3. CITIZENSHIP
  15. CHAPTER 4. PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF FUNDAMENTAL AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS
  16. GENERAL
  17. HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS DURING A STATE OF EMERGENCY
  18. ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS BY COURTS
  19. UGANDA HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
  20. CHAPTER 5. REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE
  21. RIGHT TO VOTE
  22. ELECTORAL COMMISSION
  23. POLITICAL SYSTEMS
  24. GENERAL
  25. CHAPTER 6. THE LEGISLATURE
  26. ESTABLISHMENT COMPOSITION AND FUNCTIONS OF PARLIAMENT
  27. PROCEDURE OF PARLIAMENT
  28. GENERAL
  29. CHAPTER 7. THE EXECUTIVE
  30. THE PRESIDENT
  31. THE CABINET
  32. DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS
  33. PREROGATIVE MERCY
  34. INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
  35. DECLARATION OF A STATE OF WAR
  36. NATIONAL PLANNING AUTHORITY
  37. CHAPTER 8. THE JUDICIARY
  38. ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
  39. THE COURTS OF JUDICATURE
  40. THE SUPREME COURT OF UGANDA
  41. THE COURT OF APPEAL OF UGANDA
  42. THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT
  43. THE HIGH COURT OF UGANDA
  44. APPOINTMENTS QUALIFICATIONS AND TENURE OF OFFICE OF JUDICIAL OFFICERS
  45. JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSION
  46. CHAPTER 9. FINANCE
  47. GENERAL
  48. CENTRAL BANK OF UGANDA
  49. AUDITOR-GENERAL
  50. CHAPTER 10. THE PUBLIC SERVICE
  51. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION
  52. EDUCATION SERVICE COMMISSION
  53. HEALTH SERVICE COMMISSION
  54. GENERAL
  55. CHAPTER 11. LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  56. PRINCIPLES AND STRUCTURES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT
  57. FINANCES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS
  58. DISTRICT SERVICE COMMISSIONS
  59. GENERAL
  60. CHAPTER 12. DEFENCE AND NATIONAL SECURITY
  61. UGANDA PEOPLES DEFENCE FORCES
  62. UGANDA POLICE FORCE
  63. UGANDA PRISONS SERVICE
  64. INTELLIGENCE SERVICES
  65. NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL
  66. GENERAL
  67. CHAPTER 13. INSPECTORATE OF GOVERNMENT
  68. CHAPTER 14. LEADERSHIP CODE OF CONDUCT
  69. CHAPTER 15. LAND AND ENVIRONMENT
  70. LAND
  71. UGANDA LAND COMMISSION
  72. DISTRICT LAND BOARDS
  73. GENERAL
  74. ENVIRONMENT
  75. CHAPTER 16. INSTITUTION OF TRADITIONAL OR CULTURAL LEADERS
  76. CHAPTER 17. GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS
  77. CHAPTER 18. AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
  78. CHAPTER 19. TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
  79. FIRST SCHEDULE. KAMPALA AND DISTRICTS OF UGANDA. (Articles 5, 78)
  80. SECOND SCHEDULE. THE BOUNDARY OF UGANDA. (Article 5)
  81. THIRD SCHEDULE. UGANDA'S INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES AS AT 1ST FEBRUARY, 1926. (Article 10 (a))
  82. FOURTH SCHEDULE. OATHS. (Articles 15, 81, 82, 98, 108, 109, 111, 115, 149 and 256)
  83. FIFTH SCHEDULE. REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS. (Article 178
  84. SIXTH SCHEDULE. FUNCTIONS AND SERVICES FOR WHICH GOVERNMENT IS RESPONSIBLE. (Article 189
  85. SEVENTH SCHEDULE. UNCONDITIONAL GRANT TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS. (Article 193

Constitution of Uganda (1995, rev. 2005)

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3Preamble

4WE THE PEOPLE OF UGANDA:

5RECALLING our history which has been characterised by political and constitutional instability;

6RECOGNISING our struggles against the forces of tyranny, oppression and exploitation;

7COMMITTED to building a better future by establishing a socio-economic and political order through a popular and durable national Constitution based on the principles of unity, peace, equality, democracy, freedom, social justice and progress;

8EXERCISING our sovereign and inalienable right to determine the form of governance for our country, and having fully participated in the Constitution-making process;

9NOTING 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:

10DO 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.

11FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

12NATIONAL OBJECTIVES AND DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF STATE POLICY

13GENERAL

14I. IMPLEMENTATION OF OBJECTIVES

15i. The following objectives and principles shall guide all organs and agencies of the State, all citizens, organisations and other bodies and persons in applying or interpreting the Constitution or any other law and in taking and implementing any policy decisions for the establishment and promotion of a just, free and democratic society.

16ii. The President shall report to Parliament and the nation at least once a year, all steps taken to ensure the realisation of these policy objectives and principles.

17POLITICAL OBJECTIVES

18II. DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES

19i. The State shall be based on democratic principles which empower and encourage the active participation of all citizens at all levels in their own governance.

20ii. All the people of Uganda shall have access to leadership positions at all levels, subject to the Constitution.

21iii. The State shall be guided by the principle of decentralisation and devolution of governmental functions and powers to the people at appropriate levels where they can best manage and direct their own affairs.

22iv. The composition of Government shall be broadly representative of the national character and social diversity of the country.

23v. All political and civic associations aspiring to manage and direct public affairs shall conform to democratic principles in their internal organisations and practice.

24vi. Civic organisations shall retain their autonomy in pursuit of their declared objectives.

25III. NATIONAL UNITY AND STABILITY

26i. All organs of State and people of Uganda shall work towards the promotion of national unity, peace and stability.

27ii. Every effort shall be made to integrate all the peoples of Uganda while at the same time recognising the existence of their ethnic, religious, ideological, political and cultural diversity.

28iii. Everything shall be done to promote a culture of cooperation, understanding, appreciation, tolerance and respect for each other's customs, traditions and beliefs.

29iv. There shall be established and nurtured institutions and procedures for the resolution of conflicts fairly and peacefully.

30v. The State shall provide a peaceful, secure and stable political environment which is necessary for economic development.

31IV. NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY, INDEPENDENCE AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY

32i. The State and citizens of Uganda shall at all times defend the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda.

33ii. The State and citizens of Uganda shall endeavour to build national strength in political, economic and social spheres to avoid undue dependence on other countries and institutions.

34iii. The State shall endeavour to mobilise, organise and empower the Ugandan people to build independent and sustainable foundations for the development of Uganda.

35PROTECTION AND PROMOTION OF FUNDAMENTAL AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

36V. FUNDAMENTAL AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

37i. The State shall guarantee and respect institutions which are charged by the State with responsibility for protecting and promoting human rights by providing them with adequate resources to function effectively.

38ii. The State shall guarantee and respect the independence of non-governmental organisations which protect and promote human rights.

39VI. GENDER BALANCE AND FAIR REPRESENTATION OF MARGINALISED GROUPS

40The State shall ensure gender balance and fair representation of marginalised groups on all constitutional and other bodies.

41VII. PROTECTION OF THE AGED

42The State shall make reasonable provision for the welfare and maintenance of the aged.

43VIII. PROVISION OF ADEQUATE RESOURCES FOR ORGANS OF GOVERNMENT

44The distribution of powers and functions as well as checks and balances provided for in the Constitution among various organs and institutions of government shall be supported through the provision of adequate resources for their effective functioning at all levels.

45IX. THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT

46In order to facilitate rapid and equitable development, the State shall encourage private initiative and self-reliance.

47X. ROLE OF THE PEOPLE IN DEVELOPMENT

48The State shall take all necessary steps to involve the people in the formulation and implementation of development plans and programmes which affect them.

49XI. ROLE OF THE STATE IN DEVELOPMENT

50i. The State shall give the highest priority to the enactment of legislation establishing measures that protect and enhance the right of the people to equal opportunities in development.

51ii. The State shall stimulate agricultural, industrial, technological and scientific development by adopting appropriate policies and the enactment of enabling legislation.

52iii. In furtherance of social justice, the State may regulate the acquisition, ownership, use and disposition of land and other property, in accordance with the Constitution.

53XII. BALANCED AND EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT

54i. The State shall adopt an integrated and co-ordinated planning approach.

55ii. The State shall take necessary measures to bring about balanced development of the different areas of Uganda and between the rural and urban areas.

56iii. The State shall take special measures in favour of the development of the least developed areas.

57XIII. PROTECTION OF NATURAL RESOURCES

58The State shall protect important natural resources, including land, water, wetlands, minerals, oil fauna and flora on behalf of the people of Uganda.

59SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC OBJECTIVES

60XIV. GENERAL SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC OBJECTIVES

61The State shall endeavour to fulfil the fundamental rights of all Ugandans to social justice and economic development and shall, in particular, ensure that-

62a.all developmental efforts are directed at ensuring the maximum social and cultural well-being of the people; and

63b.all Ugandans enjoy rights and opportunities and access to education, health services, clean and safe water, work, decent shelter, adequate clothing, food security and pension and retirement benefits.

64XV. RECOGNITION OF ROLE OF WOMEN IN SOCIETY

65The State shall recognise the significant role that women play in society.

66XVI. RECOGNITION OF THE DIGNITY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

67Society and the State shall recognise the right of persons with disabilities to respect and human dignity.

68XVII. RECREATION AND SPORTS

69The State shall promote recreation and sports for the citizens of Uganda.

70XVIII. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

71i. The State shall promote free and compulsory basic education.

72ii. The State shall take appropriate measures to afford every citizen equal opportunity to attain the highest educational standard possible.

73iii. Individuals, religious bodies and other non-governmental organisations shall be free to found and operate educational institutions if they comply with the general educational policy of the country and maintain national standards.

74XIX. PROTECTION OF THE FAMILY

75The family is the natural and basic unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.

76XX. MEDICAL SERVICES

77The State shall take all practical measures to ensure the provision of basic medical services to the population.

78XXI. CLEAN AND SAFE WATER

79The State shall take all practical measures to promote a good water management system at all levels.

80XXII. FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION

81The State shall-

82a.take appropriate steps to encourage people to grow and store adequate food;

83b.establish national food reserves; and

84c.encourage and promote proper nutrition through mass education and other appropriate means in order to build a healthy State.

85XXIII. NATURAL DISASTERS

86The State shall institute an effective machinery for dealing with any hazard or disaster arising out of natural calamities or any situation resulting in general displacement of people or serious disruption of their normal life.

87CULTURAL OBJECTIVES

88XXIV. CULTURAL OBJECTIVES

89Cultural and customary values which are consistent with fundamental rights and freedoms, human dignity, democracy, and with the Constitution may be developed and incorporated in aspects of Ugandan life.

90The State shall-

91a.promote and preserve those cultural values and practices which enhance the dignity and wellbeing of Ugandans;

92b.encourage the development, preservation and enrichment of all Ugandan languages;

93c.promote the development of a sign language for the deaf; and

94d.encourage the development of a national language or languages.

95XXV. PRESERVATION OF PUBLIC PROPERTY AND HERITAGE

96The State and citizens shall endeavour to preserve and protect and generally promote, the culture of preservation of public property and Uganda's heritage.

97ACCOUNTABILITY

98XXVI. ACCOUNTABILITY

99i. All public offices shall be held in trust for the people.

100ii. All persons placed in positions of leadership and responsibility shall, in their work, be answerable to the people.

101iii. All lawful measures shall be taken to expose, combat and eradicate corruption and abuse or misuse of power by those holding political and other public offices.

102THE ENVIRONMENT

103XXVII. THE ENVIRONMENT

104i. The State shall promote sustainable development and public awareness of the need to manage land, air, water resources in a balanced and sustainable manner for the present and future generations.

105ii. The utilization of the natural resources of Uganda shall be managed in such a way as to meet the development and environmental needs of present and future generations of Ugandans; and in particular, the State shall take all possible measures to prevent or minimise damage and destruction to land, air and water resources resulting from pollution or other causes.

106iii. The State shall promote and implement energy policies that will ensure that people's basic needs and those of environmental preservation are met.

107iv. The State, including local governments, shall-

108a.create and develop parks, reserves and recreation areas and ensure the conservation of natural resources;

109b.promote the rational use of natural resources so as to safeguard and protect the bio-diversity of Uganda.

110FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES

111XXVIII. FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES

112i. The foreign policy of Uganda shall be based on the principles of-

113a.promotion of the national interest of Uganda;

114b.respect for international law and treaty obligations;

115c.peaceful co-existence and non-alignment;

116d.settlement of international disputes by peaceful means;

117e.opposition to all forms of domination, racism and other forms of oppression and exploitation.

118ii. Uganda shall actively participate in international and regional organisations that stand for peace and for the well-being and progress of humanity.

119iii. The State shall promote regional and pan-African cultural, economic and political cooperation and integration.

120DUTIES OF A CITIZEN

121XXIX. DUTIES OF A CITIZEN

122The exercise and enjoyment of rights and freedoms is inseparable from the performance of duties and obligations, and accordingly, it shall be the duty of every citizen-

123a.to be patriotic and loyal to Uganda and to promote its well-being;

124b.to engage in gainful work for the good of that citizen, the family, the common good and to contribute to national development;

125c.to contribute to the well-being of the community where that citizen lives;

126d.to promote responsible parenthood;

127e.to foster national unity and live in harmony with others;

128f.to promote democracy and the rule of law; and

129g.to acquaint himself or herself with the provisions of the Constitution and to uphold and defend the Constitution and the law.

130CHAPTER 1. THE CONSTITUTION

1311. SOVEREIGNTY OF THE PEOPLE

1321. All power belongs to the people who shall exercise their sovereignty in accordance with this Constitution.

1332. Without limiting the effect of clause (1) of this article, all authority in the State emanates from the people of Uganda; and the people shall be governed through their will and consent.

1343. All power and authority of Government and its organs derive from this Constitution, which in turn derives its authority from the people who consent to be governed in accordance with this Constitution.

1354. The people shall express their will and consent on who shall govern them and how they should be governed, through regular, free and fair elections of their representatives or through referenda.

1362. SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION

1371. This Constitution is the supreme law of Uganda and shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout Uganda.

1382. If any other law or any custom is inconsistent with any of the provisions of this Constitution, the Constitution shall prevail, and that other law or custom shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

1393. DEFENCE OF THE CONSTITUTION

1401. It is prohibited for any person or group of persons to take or retain control of the Government of Uganda, except in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

1412. Any person who, singly or in concert with others, by any violent or other unlawful means, suspends, overthrows, abrogates or amends this Constitution or any part of it or attempts to do any such act, commits the offence of treason and shall be punished according to law.

1423. This Constitution shall not lose its force and effect even where its observance is interrupted by a government established by the force of arms; and in any case, as soon as the people recover their liberty, its observance shall be re-established and all persons who have taken part in any rebellion or other activity which resulted in the interruption of the observance, shall be tried in accordance with this Constitution and other laws consistent with it.

1434. All citizens of Uganda shall have the right and duty at all times-

144a.to defend this Constitution, and in particular, to resist any person or group of persons seeking to overthrow the established constitutional order; and

145b.to do all in their power to restore this Constitution after it has been suspended, overthrown, abrogated or amended contrary to its provisions.

1465. Any person or group of persons who, as required by clause (4) of this article, resists the suspension, overthrow, abrogation or amendment of this Constitution commits no offence.

1476. Where a person referred to in clause (5) of this article is punished for any act done under that clause, the punishment shall, on the restoration of this Constitution, be considered void from the time it was imposed and that person shall be taken to be absolved from all liabilities arising out of the punishment.

1484. PROMOTION OF PUBLIC AWARENESS OF CONSTITUTION

149The State shall promote public awareness of this Constitution by-

150a.translating it into Ugandan languages and disseminating it as widely as possible; and

151b.providing for the teaching of the Constitution in all educational institutions and armed forces training institutions and regularly transmitting and publishing programmes through the media generally.

152CHAPTER 2. THE REPUBLIC

1535. THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

1541. Uganda is one Sovereign State and a Republic.

1552. Subject to article 178 of this Constitution, Uganda shall consist of-

156a.regions administered by regional governments when districts have agreed to form regions as provided for in this Constitution;

157b.Kampala; and

158c.the districts of Uganda;

159as specified in the First Schedule to this Constitution, and such other districts as may be established in accordance with this Constitution or any other law.

1603. The territorial boundary of Uganda shall be as delineated in the Second Schedule to this Constitution.

1614. Kampala, located in Buganda shall be the capital city for Uganda and shall be administered by the Central Government.

1625. The territorial boundary of Kampala shall be delineated by Act of Parliament.

1636. Parliament shall, by law, make provision for the administration and development of Kampala as the capital city.

1646. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE

1651. The official language of Uganda is English.

1662. Swahili shall be the second official language in Uganda to be used in such circumstances as Parliament may by law prescribe.

1673. Subject to this article, any other language may be used as a medium of instruction in schools or other educational institutions or for legislative, administrative or judicial purposes as Parliament may by law prescribe.

1687. NON-ADOPTION OF STATE RELIGION

169Uganda shall not adopt a State religion.

1708. NATIONAL SYMBOLS AND SEALS

171The National Flag, the National Coat of Arms, the Public Seal, the National Anthem and the seals of the Courts of Judicature in use immediately before the coming into force of this Constitution, shall continue to be in use.

1728A. NATIONAL INTEREST

1731. Uganda shall be governed based on principles of national interest and common good enshrined in the national objectives and directive principles of state policy.

1742. Parliament shall make relevant laws for purposes of giving full effect to clause (1) of this article.

175CHAPTER 3. CITIZENSHIP

1769. CITIZENS OF UGANDA

177Every person who, on the commencement of this Constitution, is a citizen of Uganda shall continue to be such a citizen.

17810. CITIZENSHIP BY BIRTH

179The following persons shall be citizens of Uganda by birth-

180a.every person born in Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents is or was a member of any of the indigenous communities existing and residing within the borders of Uganda as at the first day of February, 1926 and set out in the Third Schedule to this Constitution; and

181b.every person born in or outside Uganda one of whose parents or grandparents was at the time of birth of that person a citizen of Uganda by birth.

18211. FOUNDLINGS AND ADOPTED CHILDREN

1831. A child of not more than five years of age found in Uganda, whose parents are not known, shall be presumed to be a citizen of Uganda by birth.

1842. A child under the age of eighteen years neither of whose parents is a citizen of Uganda, who is adopted by a citizen of Uganda shall, on application, be registered as a citizen of Uganda.

18512. CITIZENSHIP BY REGISTRATION

1861. Every person born in Uganda-

187a.at the time of whose birth-

188i.neither of his or her parents and none of his or her grandparents had diplomatic status in Uganda; and

189ii.neither of his or her parents and none of his or her grandparents was a refugee in Uganda; and

190b.who has lived continuously in Uganda since the ninth day of October, 1962,

191shall, on application, be entitled to be registered as a citizen of Uganda.

1922. The following persons shall, upon application, be registered as citizens of Uganda-

193a.every person married to a Uganda citizen upon proof of a legal and subsisting marriage of three years or such other period prescribed by Parliament;

194b.every person who has legally and voluntarily migrated to and has been living in Uganda for at least ten years or such other period prescribed by Parliament;

195c.every person who, on the commencement of this Constitution, has lived in Uganda for at least twenty years.

1963. Paragraph (a) of clause (2) of this article applies also to a person who was married to a citizen of Uganda who, but for his or her death, would have continued to be a citizen of Uganda under this Constitution.

1974. Where a person has been registered as a citizen of Uganda under paragraph (a) of clause (2) of this article and the marriage by virtue of which that person was registered is-

198a.annulled or otherwise declared void by a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction; or

199b.dissolved,

200that person shall, unless he or she renounces that citizenship, continue to be a citizen of Uganda.

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