Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Bardege-Layibi Division member of parliament has filed a notice with the Clerk to Parliament seeking the removal of Mityana Municipality counterpart, Francis Zaake from the office of the Parliamentary Commission.
“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 under section 5 of the Administration of Parliament Act, Cap 257 of the Laws of Uganda on grounds of misbehaviour and misconduct,” reads part of the notice.
The notice Clerk to Parliament, Adolf Mwesige received the notice, which is copied to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker on February 23, 2022.
“Zaake without exercising the avenues afforded to members in the Rules of Procedure took to social media and to abuse and insult Deputy Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, describing her conduct in chairing the House as ….”utter bunkum emanating from her dishonest lips was only intended to mock and break (him) down, this is idiocy!…the loose cannon in her couldn’t contemplate the duty that her office owes members and the country at large, disturbingly ejaculated while presiding over a session to condemn torture, aah! How hypocritical, shame upon you!” further reads the notice pinned on Parliament’s member’s board.
He attached a copy of the signatures in support of the notice and motion. Legislators mainly from the ruling National Resistance Movement -NRM party have been signing the petition secretly to push for Zaake’s removal from the Parliamentary Commission, the top most organ of the House.
Last week, media reports indicated that more than 200 legislators had already appended signatures on the petition. The signing process started on Tuesday last week despite a directive by Deputy Speaker Anita Among to the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline to investigate the Zaake for alleged misconduct and use of language out of the decorum of parliament.
The probe, which is chaired by the Bugweri County MP, Abdu Katuntu officially started on Tuesday this week with the complainants led by Mapenduzi interfacing with the committee.
The others were Jonathan Ebwalu, the Soroti West Division MP, Geoffrey Macho, the Busia Municipality MP and Mary Annet Nakato, the Buyende Woman MP.
Zaake is expected to appear before the committee on Monday next week after he sought more time to interface with the investigating team.
Rules of Procedure
Rule 56 provides for Notice of motions and states that no Motion shall be moved unless the Member moving it has given written notice to the Speaker and the Clerk not less than three days previous to the sitting at which the member intends to move the motion. Rule 110 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure provides for the removal of a Commissioner and outlines the necessary processes to be followed.
It states that a Member of the Commission, other than the Speaker or the Leader of Government business, Leader of the Opposition or the Minister of finance may be removed from office by Parliament for incompetence, misconduct, insanity, and inability to perform the functions of his or her office arising from infirmity of body or mind.
This involves a Motion for a resolution for the removal of a Commissioner to be initiated by a notice in writing to the Clerk, signed by not less than one-third of all the voting Members of Parliament indicating their intention for moving the Motion for the removal.
It requires that the Motion for the resolution be placed on the Order Paper fourteen days from the date on which, notice to remove the Commissioner shall have been communicated to the Clerk and a Commissioner shall be removed upon the vote of at least half of all voting Members of Parliament.
At least 176 MPs are needed to move the motion for the removal of a Commissioner from office. For the motion to succeed after the debate, the party needs a majority.
If it reaches that stage, the NRM can comfortably remove Zaake as it enjoys a majority in the 11th Parliament with 336 MPs while the Opposition Political Parties have only 109 MPs.
The biggest opposition party, the National Unity Platform (NUP) nominated Zaake to the Parliamentary Commission as a back-bench member.
The other three back-bench Commissioners are from the ruling National Resistance Movement –NRM party.
The Commission is composed of the Speaker as chair, and also has the Deputy Speaker (Anita Among), the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja), the Leader of Opposition (Mathias Mpuuga), the Government Chief Whip (Thomas Tayebwa), and Finance Minister (Matia Kasaija).