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Zaake Asks Deputy Chief Justice to Hear Impeachment Case Expeditiously :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Zaake Asks Deputy Chief Justice to Hear Impeachment Case Expeditiously

On March 10th, 2020, Parliament resolved to remove Zaake from the parliamentary commission for alleged indiscipline. This followed a report made by the Rules, Discipline and Privileges Committee chaired by Abdu Katuntu, which found Zaake in breach of public trust and Parliament decorum.
MP Francis Zaake together with his lawyer Erias Lukwago at the Constitutional Court in Kampala.

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The embattle Mityana Municipality Member of Parliament, Francis Zaake has pleaded with Deputy Chief Justice, Richard Buteera to expeditiously hear his application challenging his removal from the parliamentary commission, the highest organ of the house.  

On March 10th, 2020, Parliament resolved to remove Zaake from the parliamentary commission for alleged indiscipline. This followed a report made by the Rules, Discipline and Privileges Committee chaired by  Abdu Katuntu, which found Zaake in breach of public trust and Parliament decorum. 

The then Deputy Speaker, Anita Among directed the Committee to investigate Zaake following a motion by the Gulu City Barledge Division Member of parliament, Ojara Mapenduzi for his removal on allegations of abusing the speaker using his social media handle. Trouble for Zaake started when he allegedly blasted the speaker on his social media handle for her comments during plenary to honour legislators and staff who had participated in the East African Legislative Assembly Games in Tanzania.

During the plenary, Anita, who was still a deputy speaker joked that despite allegedly being tortured by security and sustaining a broken leg, Zaake had won a gold medal for parliament in the 100-meter race. Anita's comments came at a time legislators were raising concern about the increasing number of torture cases in the country perpetrated by security agencies.

Dissatisfied with his impeachment resolution, Zaake petitioned the Constitutional Court on grounds that there was procedural impropriety. He explained that Parliament passed the resolution at least half of all voting members in the House as required. There are more than  500 legislators and ex-officials in the current parliament but only 161 MPs voted on the matter.

Zaake also accuses members of the Rules Committee of having received Shillings 6 million each from public coffers for participating in the Committee proceedings that resulted in his removal from office. According to Zaake, this was a bribe. He wants the court to compel each beneficiary to refund the money to the consolidated fund.




Zaake also asked the court to halt the implementation of the resolution to impeach him until his case is determined or else he will suffer irreparable damages. On Friday, Zaake together with his lawyer  Erias Lukwago met Deputy Chief Justice Buteera in his office at the Constitutional Court and asked him to help them have an expeditious hearing of his case.

According to Lukwago, they tried to meet the Registrar of the Constitutional Court and the head of Administration Justice Stephen Musota to have the matter fixed for hearing but they were told that it's wasn't possible because of the busy schedule of the Court.

While addressing journalists shortly after their closed-door with the Deputy Chief Justice, Lukwago and his client, said that he equally told them that the Constitutional Court Justices who also sit in the Court of Appeal are still busy handling election matters, which need to be determined with urgency.

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Nevertheless, Zaake noted that Buteera has promised to fix their matter soon. When asked whether he had reconciled with Anita following the pictures that went viral on social media last week showing the duo hugging, Zaake indicated that this is not a personal issue but rather an issue of national importance that requires Constitutional interpretation to establish whether the procedure adopted while impeaching him was lawful. 

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Luganda Audio.

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