EALA MPs to proceed with censure motion

A section of East African Legislative Assembly members have vowed to proceed with efforts to remove Speaker Margaret Zziwa from office when the House resumes sittings on May 27 despite a court order.

The regional MPs said the East African Court of Justice has no mandate to  stop an ongoing process in the Assembly.

READ: EAC court halts Zziwa censure

“The EACJ can only stop a motion before it is presented to the House and not at this level,” said Kenyan representative Peter Mathuki, who moved the censure motion.A Tanzania MP who asked not to be named said the court will only “protect the Speaker for a while.”

“The court can only delay, but not defeat our mission,” he said. “We respect the court, but this issue is all about a sour working relationship between the Speaker and legislators do you think the court can restore the lost trust?” he asked.

In its interim orders issued on the May 9, the EACJ ordered EALA to maintain the status quo and restrained the MPs from debating a motion seeking to remove the Speaker pending the delivery of its ruling on May 29.

However, Ugandan representative Fred Mbidde said debating the motion would violate the law.

The censure motion, seconded by Rwanda and Burundi MPs, cites misconduct, poor governance, poor leadership skills, abuse of office, disrespect and intimidation of members and staff as grounds for removal of Ms Zziwa.

The move to impeach the Speaker last month failed when she sent the Assembly on recess shortly after the censure motion was tabled.

“The EAC Secretariat and the EALA Clerk have already been served with the injunction and therefore there is no way the motion will be on the order paper for debate,” said Mr Mbidde.

Bobi Odiko, EALA public relations officer said: “At the moment, we expect to receive the EAC budget for the 20142015 financial year, debate three key bills — the Appropriation Bill, Supplementary Appropriation Bill and the Integration Education Bill — and various committee reports.”

Efforts to reach the Speaker for comments were unsuccessful.

SOURCE: The East African