3 April 2014

East Africa: Court to Rule On EALA Speaker Impeachment Bid

Photo: EAC
East African Community Heads of States at the 15th Ordinary Summit in Speke Resort, Kampala (file photo).

The east African court of Justice (EACJ) will soon convene to decide on the motion tabled before the regional assembly to censure the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Speaker, The New Times has learnt

This comes after the Assembly members had tabled the motion yesterday before the House to censure the EALA Speaker, Margret Zziwa. Members had previously secured all the required signatures from all partner states as stipulated in the EAC Treaty.

The motion that was read by Peter Mathuki, a member from Kenya was left to the regional court since the Assembly was not allowed to debate a matter that is before court.

The EAC Treaty says a motion to censure the Speaker can only be tabled after at least four MPs from each member-country have signed the petition. Each country has nine representatives.

"It was put on hold until the court directs us on what to do," Fred Mukasa Mbidde, EALA member from Uganda said in an interview.

He said the East African Court of Justice will convene next month to discuss the matter.

However other members were reluctant to talk about the issue, arguing it was illegal. "It is illegal to discuss Assembly issues outside Parliament," Abubakar Zein, a Kenyan member said.

It had been reported that some EALA members from Uganda had asked the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, to intervene and convince other regional heads of state to stop the members from impeaching the Speaker.

Some MPs accuse Zziwa for incompetence and succumbing to what they called external influence.

However, a source in EALA who preferred anonymity, told this paper that some members want the Speaker out because she refused to advocate for their salary increment.

The regional court, that is based in Arusha, Tanzania is mandated to resolve disputes that arise from the Treaty establishing the East African Community.

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