Politics

Mapenduzi has filed a petition to have Zaake removed from the Parliamentary Commission.

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, a member of parliament from the Bardege-Layibi Division, has filed a notice with the Clerk of Parliament seeking the expulsion of Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake from the Parliamentary Commission’s office.

Part of the notice reads, “Pursuant to Rule 56 (1) and 110 of the Rules of Procedure of Parliament of Uganda, I notify you of my intention to move a motion for a resolution of parliament to remove Honorable Zaake Francis from the Office of Commissioner of Parliament on grounds of misbehavior and misconduct under section 5 of the Administration of Parliament Act, Cap 257 of the Laws of Uganda.”

On February 23, 2022, the Clerk to Parliament Adolf Mwesige received the notice, which was also copied to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker.

“Zaake resorted to social media to criticize and insult the Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, calling her behaviour in chairing the House as…”utter bunkum pouring from her dishonest lips was just intended to mock and break (him) down, this is folly!”

She bizarrely ejaculated while presiding over a session to denounce torture, aah! the loose cannon in her couldn’t fathom the obligation that her office owes members and the country at large, aah! Shame on you for being so hypocritical!” further reads the notification posted to the member’s board of Parliament.

He also included a copy of the signatures on the notice and motion. Legislators, mostly from the ruling National Resistance Movement-NRM, have been quietly signing the petition to remove Zaake from the Parliamentary Commission, the House’s highest organ.

According to media reports from last week, more than 200 legislators had already signed the petition. Despite Deputy Speaker Anita Among’s instruction to the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline to examine Zaake for suspected wrongdoing and use of language outside of parliament’s decorum, the signing process began on Tuesday last week.

The investigation, which is chaired by Abdu Katuntu, a Bugweri County MP, began on Tuesday of this week, with the complainants, lead by Mapenduzi, interacting with the committee.

Jonathan Ebwalu, Soroti West Division MP, Geoffrey Macho, Busia Municipality MP, and Mary Annet Nakato, Buyende Woman MP, were the others. After requesting extra time to interact with the investigating team, Zaake is slated to appear before the committee on Monday next week.

Procedures and Rules

It states that a Member of the Commission, except the Speaker or the Leader of Government Business, the Leader of the Opposition, or the Minister of Finance, may be removed from office by Parliament for incompetence, misconduct, insanity, or inability to perform the functions of his or her office due to a physical or mental infirmity.

A Motion for a resolution to remove a Commissioner must be commenced by a written notification to the Clerk signed by not less than one-third of all voting Members of Parliament declaring their intention to move the Motion for removal.

It stipulates that the motion for the resolution be presented on the Order Paper fourteen days after the Clerk receives notice to remove the Commissioner, and that a Commissioner be removed by a vote of at least half of all voting Members of Parliament.

A motion to remove a Commissioner from office must be supported by at least 176 MPs. After the debate, the party requires a majority to pass the motion.

If it gets to that point, the NRM will easily be able to depose Zaake because it has a majority of 336 MPs in the 11th Parliament, while the Opposition Political Parties have only 109.

Zaake was nominated to the Parliamentary Commission as a backbencher by the largest opposition party, the National Unity Platform (NUP). The other three backbenchers are all members of the ruling National Resistance Movement –NRM.

The Speaker chairs the Commission, which also includes Deputy Speaker Anita Among, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, Opposition Leader Mathias Mpuuga, Government Chief Whip Thomas Tayebwa, and Finance Minister Matia Kasaija.

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