KAMPALA —The State Minister for Gender and Culture, Peace Mutuuzo, has appealed to MPs to involve her ministry in making of the Museums and Monuments Bill, 2022.
Mutuuzo made the appeal at a meeting with members on the Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry, who are scrutinising the proposed bill.
The committee meeting was chaired by David Kabweri County MP on Wednesday, 24 August 2022.
The government bill that was read for the first time on 12 July 2022, aims at consolidating and reforming the law relating to cultural and national heritage, as well as strengthening administrative structures for effective management of cultural and natural heritage.
The bill also seeks to provide for classification of museums, and provide for the development, management and maintenance of museums and monuments.
It also seeks to provide for the formalisation, control and protection of tangible and associated intangible cultural heritage and works of art collections.
Mutuuzo said the ministry will present a paper before the committee within a week, detailing how the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development can have an entry point into the bill.
She noted that the proposed law does not present a distinction between culture, wildlife and antiquities.
“There is no way Tourism can run a show alone without the Ministry of Gender which is responsible for traditions and ways of life of the people. We will clarify the gaps we want to fill in this bill so that we are consistent with the law,” Mutuuzo said.
She cited clause 13(1) on establishment of museums that reads, “A person shall not establish or develop a museum in Uganda without a license or declaration issued in accordance with this Act.”
Clause 13(3)(a) reads that, “A person who contravenes subsection(1) commits an offence and liable on conviction—in the case if an individual, a fine not exceeding one hundred currency points.”
Mutuuzo, however, said the law should only limit the establishment of public/institutional museums without authorisation, but leave space for individuals to establish personal or private museums.
“For example, a family or clan can choose to establish a private museum which should not attract an offence in any way. It is important that such museums are given space to operate until they develop the museum to a level that attracts commercial exchange of goods and properties,” the minister said.
She also said the law ought to provide for a clause which bids all gazetted city and municipal council authorities in Uganda, to establish a public museum in their respective cities or municipalities.