The East African Court of Justice’s First Instance Division on Friday last week delivered a judgment in the case filed by Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa versus the Secretary General of the East African Community.
The Court in its judgment declined to grant the orders to reinstate Hon. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa to the position of the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA).
The judgment was delivered by the Honorable Judges of the First Instance Division Hon Lady Justice Monica Mugenyi (Principal Judge), seek http://cultnews.com/wp-includes/class-wp-customize-widgets.php Justice Isaac Lenaola (Deputy Principal Judge), site http://clubmeteo.fr/components/com_newsfeeds/views/category/tmpl/default_items.php Dr. Justice Faustin Ntezilyayo, http://conversionxl.com/wp-includes/ms-default-filters.php Justice Fakihi A. Jundu and Justice Audace Ngiye,
The Court said its mandate is to interpret and apply the EAC Treaty, noting that to safeguard the cardinal principle of separation of powers it could not be seen directing EALA on how it should conduct its business hence it was unable to grant the order.
Also the Court declined to grant orders on special and general damages to the Applicant, it found out that the Applicant have contravened Rule 9(6) of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, which action might have triggered other actions, some patently unlawful.
Still that she (Hon. Zziwa) cannot then be seen to benefit from her role in the procedural impasse that dogged the Assembly. Rule 9(6) states that; “The Speaker in respect of whom proceedings for removal have commenced shall not preside over the proceeding”
The court found no legal provision in its Rules of Procedure for the award of damages as a remedy.
Zziwa had asked Court an award of special damages in form of loss of earnings of a salary of USD 6,700 per month and housing allowance of USD 3,000 per month, plus other allowances and financial benefits.
The Court further declined to grant an award of costs in the matter, that the Applicant’s flout of Rule 9(6) of the Assembly by presiding a matter in her own cause and that her conduct as the steward of the Assembly, could have triggered the unfortunate series of the events of her removal. Court ordered each party to bear its own costs.
However, on the other hand the Court also declared that the sitting of the Assembly on 26th November 2014 presided over by a temporary Speaker, an entity and office unknown to the Treaty and the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly was unlawful and violated Article 56 of the Treaty.
In addition, the Court found that the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges, in allowing Members of the Assembly who initiated the motion for removal of Zziwa to sit and determine whether she should in fact be removed, violated the basic rules of natural Justice that an accuser cannot also be the judge in proceedings against the accused.
Further that any real or perceived bias on the part of the Committee invalidated its proceedings. The Court added that having made the findings regarding the composition of the Committee and its proceedings, it follows that its report, whatever the merit thereof, was rendered invalid.