Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline has found Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake ‘guilty’ of bringing the August House into disrepute with the remarks he made on social media against Deputy Speaker Anita Among.
Of the 36 members of the committee chaired by Abdu Katuntu, five disagreed with the decision and issued a minority report. They are Aisha Kabanda, Wakayima Musoke, Kayemba Ssolo, Karim Masaba and Shamim Malende. They instead recommended a reconciliation between Among and Zaake, and called for a rejection of the main report.
Zaake had taken to his Twitter handle to attack Among indicating that she had ridiculed him for having recovered so well from torture by security personnel as to play football. Some members took exception to Zaake’s post and demanded his removal from the Parliamentary Commission, the ten-member top organ of the parliament. Deputy (de facto) Speaker Among referred the matter to the Rules Committee.
The committee interfaced with the complainants also held public hearings and MP Zaake himself appeared twice before the committee.
Zaake appeared with his lawyers and objected to the process saying the committee lacked the jurisdiction to hear the matter. The committee rejected the objection.
Finally ruling against Zaake, the committee said he put the parliament into disrepute. They particularly pointed at the language he used which portrayed the Deputy speaker in very low esteem.
Some observers noted that being required to apologise to Among will is bound to inflict deeper pain and humiliation on the radical, youthful NUP MP than a more severe decision like removal from the Parliament Commission, which could have accorded him martyrdom status before his supporters.