Parliament reschedules inquiry into MP Zaake's misconduct

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Parliament reschedules inquiry into MP Zaake's misconduct
Zaake and Kinyamatama

The Office of the Clerk to Parliament has  announced the rescheduling of the parliamentary inquiry into the alleged misconduct and misbehavior of Francis Zaake, the Member of Parliament for Mityana Municipality.

The inquiry aims to delve into incidents reported during the plenary sitting on November 29, 2022.

In a letter dated February 1, 2024, and addressed to Zaake through M/S Lukwaga & Co. Advocates, the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline outlined that the initially scheduled meeting for December 13, 2023, was adjourned prematurely due to the absence of Zaake's lawyer and the Committee's inability to achieve quorum amid ongoing East African Parliamentary activities.

The rescheduled meeting is now set to take place on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, at 11 am in Committee Room 102B, First Floor, North-wing Parliament Buildings.

The letter highlights Zaake's right to cross-examine witnesses, including Hon. John Baptist Nambeshe and Medard Lubega Sseggona, who are expected to present their accounts during the inquiry.

Furthermore, the communication indicates that Lukwago & Co. Advocates, the legal representatives of Zaake, have been copied on the correspondence, ensuring all involved parties are well-informed of the proceedings.

This development underscores the importance of parliamentary oversight and adherence to due process in addressing allegations of misconduct within the parliamentary setting. As the inquiry progresses, the public awaits how Zaake will respond to the accusations and exercise his right to cross-examine the witnesses.

In December 2023, concerns were raised by Members of Parliament questioning the delay in dismissing misconduct cases against Zaake.

They argued that similar cases in the courts of law are often dismissed for lack of prosecution, and meetings regarding Zaake'sa conduct have faced repeated challenges.

In November of the same year, Parliament's Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline initiated an investigation into disciplinary issues surrounding Zaake. The committee convened to probe Zaake's alleged violation of parliamentary rules on November 29 of the previous year.

During that session, Zaake, unaware of the resolution, stood up to reopen a debate on the abduction of opposition supporters, allegedly by state security forces. Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa referred the matter for disciplinary hearing when Zaake insisted on discussing the issue instead of complying with the Speaker's instructions.

Tayebwa also referred Zaake to the same committee for investigation following allegations of derogatory remarks made towards Juliet Kinyamatama, the Rakai District Woman MP, during an event in her constituency on Independence Day.

Kinyamatama accused Zaake of defamation and using offensive language.

This marks the third disciplinary action against Zaake, following previous consequences for criticizing Speaker of Parliament Anita Among on social media and his dismissal as a parliamentary commissioner.

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