Zziwa “Impeachment” Drama Delays EAC Budget Reading


more about geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 150%;”>It had been planned that the budget speech be read on Friday last week.

medical geneva;”>

Header advertisement

sick geneva;”>However, debate on the planned impeachment of Zziwa caused a storm at the East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) with members saying a motion seeking the remove of Zziwa from office should take precedent.

Prior to the adjournment, Members had made submissions on the need to re-introduce the Motion to begin proceedings to remove the Speaker, which was suspended when the House adjourned Sine Die on April 3, 2014.

Interestingly, the matter was not part of the business on the Order Paper.

Earlier on Friday, the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in its ruling of the consolidated Interlocutory Applications, declined to grant the interim orders sought by the applicants, Mbidde Foundation Ltd (1st Applicant) vs Secretary General and the Attorney General of the Republic of Uganda and the Speaker, Rt. Hon Margaret Nantongo Zziwa (Second Applicant) vs the Secretary General of the East African Community on the matter.

A three-Judges bench consisting of Principal Judge Jean Bosco Butasi, Deputy Principal Judge Isaac Lenaola and Judge Monica Mugenyi, declined to grant the interim orders restraining the debate on the removal of the Speaker.

Among other things, the Court ruled that the consolidated applications lacked merit as no prima facie case with a likelihood of success was established by the Applicants (the Applicants pleadings that EALA has no Rules of Procedure, that the Respondents did not seek an Advisory Opinion of the Court and that once proceedings begin, there is likelihood of bias were not proven by the Applicants on whom the burden of proof lay).

The motion contends Zziwa is unable to perform the functions for her office arising from misconduct, poor governance and leadership skills; abuse of office; disrespect and intimidation of members and staff; and loss of confidence and trust by members and staff; and loss of confidence and trust by Members.

She is also accused of unilateral decision making; abuse of the consensus principle required in decision making of the commission.

When the House resumed on Friday, EALA Member, Hon Peter Mathuki stood on a procedural matter and sort to have the matter re-introduced citing public interest as stipulated by Article 31 of the Rules of Procedure.

“The Court came out clearly on the matter and I indulge the House that we should resume with the proceedings first by revising the Order Paper to include the Motion,” the legislator said.

Hon Abubakar Zein urged the House to protect its integrity saying that EALA needed to be on the right side of history and to keep true to Parliamentary traditions.

He said it was important for the Rules of the House to be followed to the latter.

When sought for clarification, the Counsel to the Community, Hon Wilbert Kaahwa maintained that EALA could proceed with its business on the basis of its Rules of Procedure unrestrained including the handling of the Motion for the removal of the Speaker.

Uganda MP backs Zziwa removal

Ugandan lawmaker, Hon Dora Byamukama reiterated the need to observe the advice of the Counsel to the Community which she maintained was anchored under Article 69 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community.

Hon Christophe Bazivamo, Hon Patricia Hajabakiga and Hon Joseph Kiangoi supported the sentiments.

Other Ugandan MPs, Hon Susan Nakawuki and Hon Fred Mukasa Mbidde, however, opposed the debate.

In her submissions, Hon Nakawuki informed the House that the EACJ had only disposed the interim application but was yet to pronounce itself on the main reference. She said that the matter at hand, the EAC Budget Speech, was significant and of considerable interest to the region.

Hon Mukasa Mbidde on his part noted that items of business on the Order Paper were a preserve of the Speaker. He remarked that the Court needed its due time to determine the main reference.

The House then remained suspended for twenty minutes to pave way for further consultation between the Speaker and the Council of Ministers.

The House is now expected to resume on Tuesday, June 3, 2014 at 10.00 am.


Header advertisement
To Top