Parliament Restricts Zaake’s Speaking Rights After Constitutional Court Ruling
In a recent interview with Francis Zaake, the two-time parliamentarian discussed his dissatisfaction with the decision of the Constitutional court. The court had ruled that the resolution to remove him from his role as a commissioner of parliament was invalid due to the lack of a required quorum during its passage. The censure against Zaake had been initiated based on allegations of his use of inappropriate language against Speaker Anita Among.
Zaake expressed his frustration at being prevented from speaking in parliament by both Speaker Anita Among and Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa following his censure. He argued that such actions were unacceptable, particularly as he represents the people.
Zaake highlighted his contentment with the Constitutional court’s ruling, emphasizing the importance of upholding the rule of law. However, he expressed concerns over parliament’s failure to follow the laws it creates and its disregard for the principle of natural justice.
He mentioned rumors of the Attorney General’s appeal against the ruling and stressed that it would be embarrassing for parliament, the body responsible for making laws, to ignore a court decision.
Zaake also called for a public apology from parliament for failing to adhere to the law and urged the institution to fulfill its role of checking the executive’s compliance with the law.
Regarding the frequent court rulings against parliament, Zaake attributed this to MPs allowing their passions to override established rules of procedure. He also expressed hope that parliament would not follow the executive’s tendency to disregard court decisions.
Addressing allegations of double standards, Zaake stated that while he had won many cases in court, most citizens did not experience justice through the legal system. He emphasized the need for true justice in Uganda and the consequences of political prisoners.
Zaake shared his personal experiences during this saga, including humiliation, office lock changes, soldiers at his home, and the withholding of his emoluments. He also reiterated his inability to speak in parliament, even after asserting his right to do so.
When asked about reaching out to the presiding officers, Zaake emphasized the importance of following established rules of procedure and the need for transparency in parliamentary matters. He called for accountability in parliament’s expenditures and questioned who was scrutinizing these expenses.
Regarding allegations of leaking information, Zaake stated that if there was evidence, he should be prosecuted for the crime. He expressed enthusiasm for the idea of auditing parliament and noted the obstacles that may have been placed in the way of such an audit.
Finally, Zaake stressed the obligation to work together as parliamentarians for the benefit of the people, regardless of personal animosities. He called for a structured relationship within parliament, emphasizing the importance of duty and service to constituents.