Uganda’s representatives at the East African Legislative Assembly have snubbed summons by a House committee to shade light on the reasons behind a move to impeach Eala Speaker Margaret Zziwa.
Parliament’s Committee on East African Community Affairs is investigating why Uganda’s representatives are backing a petition sponsored by Kenyan MP Peter Mathuki accusing Ms Zziwa of, among other things, poor governance and leadership skills, abuse of office, disrespect and intimidation of Eala members and staff.
Last week, the Speaker directed the committee to investigate the matter after Kawempe North MP Latif Ssebaggala (DP) proposed that Parliament considers a motion that could see all nine Uganda’s representatives recalled.
However, efforts by the committee to reach out to Uganda’s representatives have hit a stalemate after the MPs turned down an invitation, saying they are held up at the Arusha-based secretariat with Eala work.
“We communicated to them last week and they responded that they are still busy in Arusha and can only be available after April 25.We are going to write to them again and give them one final chance to respond,”Buyende Woman MP Babirye Veronica Kadogo said.
To circumvent the impasse, Ms Kadogo who chairs the committee, suggested that Uganda’s Eala MPs be referred to NRM caucus for possible censure-a suggestion that committee members shot down.
“Eala is not partisan because members’ representation is a nationalistic issue.
I do not see how you can drag Eala issues into the NRM .Not all members who have signed [the petition] are NRM members. How can you drag DP members to the NRM Caucus,” Army MP Capt Suzan Lakot, argued.
In Arusha, the motion has divided Uganda’s nine representatives with some like Chris Opoka supporting it while representative Fred Mbidde has challenged the petition in the East African Court of Justice questioning the Eala Rules of Procedure of Eala which prescribe the circumstances of impeaching a Speaker.
When the motion was tabled last week, Ms Zziwa nipped plans to censure her in the bud by sending the assembly on recess-effectively granting herself temporary reprieve.
President Museveni has prevailed upon Ugandan Eala MPs subscribing to the NRM calling for caution on matters of censuring Ms Zziwa.