The Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly Margret Nantongo Zziwa has been impeached.
36 Members of the assembly voted to oust Zziwa, who is accused of misconduct, abuse of office and disrespect. Two members voted against the motion to which one member abstained.
The decision was taken during a special sitting of the assembly in Arusha Tanzania, chaired by another Ugandan representative Chris-Opoka Okumu. A Replacement will be made within the next 48 hours.
The vote was conducted after the assembly adopted a report of its committee on Rules and Privileges which recommended that Rt. Hon Zziwa be removed from office with immediate effect.
The committee whose hearings were held over the last 21 days, presented evidence that Zziwa gave priority to unscheduled & personal engagement, failing to discharge her duties in respect of the Assembly.
The Committee also reported that Zziwa deliberately refused to submit to the will of the House & Rules of Procedure thus provoking paralysis of House. “The Speaker flouts & manipulates Rules of Procedure with impunity to foster personal interests as witnessed in the Bhanji Case,” the committee report reads in part.
A Video with supporting evidence on the accusations against Zziwa was also presented before the house.
In the ensuing debate, Nusura Tiperu, one of Uganda representatives to the assembly, stated that the motion and the vote only implied that members were devising means of serving east Africa better.
“We Love the Speaker, but we Love East Africa More. It has reached a time we make a decision for the people of East Africa, Tiperu stated.
Yesterday, the east African court of Justice upheld the suspension of the embattled saying that she had failed to prove the irreparable injustice that the process of the removal may cause her, as had been claimed in the application.
It was also the Court’s view that since the Applicant made representations to the Committee, to pre-judge the decision of this Committee and that of the Assembly would be unjust.
The Court further noted that Article 53(3) of the Treaty provides for the removal of the Speaker of the Assembly and so any holder of the office ought to know that possibility is always alive and pursuing that course of action will not amount to irreparable injustice to the Applicant.
The Court declared it was unable to accept the Applicant’s case that she is entitled to any ex-parte orders. The Court thus ordered the Application be fixed for hearing inter parte on 3rd February 2015. The Application was dismissed with no order as to cost.