Margaret Nantongo Zziwa, the speaker of the East African legislative assembly has been suspended to pave way for the hearing of the motion seeking her removal from office.
The decision to suspend Zziwa from exercising the roles of the speaker was reached on Wednesday afternoon following a motion tabled by Abdullah Mwinyi, a legislator from Tanzania.
The motion among other things accuses Zziwa of abuse of office and lack of respect for members.
The assembly elected Chris Opoka-Okumu, another Ugandan legislator in EALA to preside over the motion for the removal of Zziwa.
Trouble for Zziwa started on April 1, 2014 after Peter Mathuki moved a motion seeking her removal from office.
However, Zziwa dismissed the motion in June saying it had fallen short of the requirements of at least four signatures from the elected Members from each Partner State.
This followed the withdrawal of signatures of three Members from the United Republic of Tanzania.
A statement on the official EALA page says Zziwa pegged her ruling on Rule 82(2) of Rules of Procedure that grants the Speaker of the Assembly, the final powers on the interpretation and the application of the same. However, prior to that counsel to the Community, Wilbert Kaahwa maintained that the Motion was “alive”.
The motion has now been referred to the Legal Rules and Privileges Committee for investigations in accordance with Rule 9 (4) of the Rules of Procedure.
The Committee has been given 21 days within which to finalize the investigations and report back to the House.
Pursuant to the provisions of Article 53 (3) of the EAC Treaty and Rule 9 of the Assembly’s Rules of Procedure, Members may with a two-thirds majority pass a Resolution to remove the Speaker from office.