Hon Hafsa Mossi makes her contribution on the Motion this afternoon
Hon Mukasa Mbidde casts his vote on the Motion. 36 members voted in favour of the Motion for the removal of the Speaker, 2 voted against while there was one abstention.
Friday is the defining moment as House seeks to elect new Speaker
EALA has this afternoon voted to remove Rt. Hon Dr. Margaret Nantongo Zziwa from office. This follows overwhelming support of the Motion for removal of the Speaker by 36 to 2 votes (signifying over two-thirds majority in excess of 30 votes) on the floor of the Assembly. Only one abstention was recorded.
Immediately, the Clerk of EALA moved to declare the vacancy and announced that in accordance with Article 7 of the Rules of Procedure, the names of candidates for the election of Speaker shall be obtained within 48 hours from today (Friday at 3.30 pm).
The sitting today was chaired by the Presiding Officer, Hon Chris Opoka Okumu who was elected to preside over the motion for removal of the Speaker on November 26th, 2014 at the sitting in Nairobi. Rt. Hon Zziwa was absent from the Plenary today.
Earlier on in the morning, the Assembly listened through and adopted the Committee on Legal Rules and Privileges on investigation of the complaints raised in the motion for the removal of the Speaker from Office. The Committee has been receiving and assessing evidence submitted to it. The Committee also lined up a number of witnesses among them being the Rt. Hon. Speaker of EALA, Members and staff of EALA, and any other witnesses who it deems are necessary for the discharge of their investigative mandate.
The report presented to the House by the Chair of the Legal, Rules and Privileges Committee, Hon Frederic Ngenzebuhoro, cites the inability of the Speaker to perform the functions of the office arising from misconduct in accordance with the provisions of the Treaty and the Rules of procedure. The report notes that Rt. Hon Zziwa unilaterally made a decision to stop rotation sittings in contravention of the provisions of the Administration of the EALA Act, 2012. The Speaker is also accused of wasting resources of the Community through poor time management, unnecessary delays postponement of meetings and laisser-faire attitude to Assembly provisions.
“In August 2013 all members of the Assembly went to Mombasa, Kenya as programmed in the EALA Annual Legislative Calendar for 2013/2014 Financial Year. According to the evidence available the members of the Commission and Chairpersons of all the Standing Committees arrived one day before the workshop for a consultative meeting. The Speaker who was supposed to chair the meeting did not come as scheduled, nor did she delegate responsibility of chairing the meeting”, a section of the report reads in part.
According to the findings, the Speaker continued to be absent from duty station contrary to the terms and conditions and hence giving inadequate supervision to the work of the Assembly. Other areas include undermining the authority of the Commission by changing the activities for 2013/2014 to suit personal interests and practicing favouritism by denying other Members equal opportunity.
The report also cites misconduct, the use abusive and derogatory language against Members and staff.
During debate today, Hon Saoli Ole Nkanae remarked that Rt. Hon Zziwa had constantly used unsavory language. “The Speaker created a monster out of this House, we have turned into gladiators. It needs to end today” Hon Ole Nkanae maintained.
Hon Hafsa Mossi appealed to the Assembly to change the trend and take the right decision. “I have failed to see Leadership in the Speaker, I hope we make the right decision today”, she said.
Hon Dr. Odette Nyiramilimo said it was time for EALA to restore its lost glory. “I hope we will elect a Member who will restore the dignity of this House”, Hon Dr. Nyiramilimo remarked.