Long Wait: Court set to issue judgment in MP Zaake Impeachment case

On Monday 5th June 2023, the Mityana Municipality MP, Francis Zaake accompanied by his officials and lawyers stormed the constitutional court located at Twed towers in Kampala demanding his judgment in a court case he filed against the impeachment process that saw him being removed as the Commissioner of Parliament.

According to a court notice, the constitutional court that has delayed issuing its judgment will deliver the same come 28 September 2023.

The notice states, ” The matter of Hon Zaake vs. Attorney General Number 6 of 2022 judgement has been further fixed for 28th day of September at 10.00 Am”

A total of 155 legislators had purportedly voted to remove MP Zaake as commissioner of parliament after being found guilty of misconduct over his abusive Twitter tweets now known as X posts directed towards then deputy Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among.

In his petition, the youthful legislator says that events surrounding his censure and removal from the Parliament Commission were illegal and contravened the 1995 Constitution of Uganda.

“The act of Parliament of disregarding rule 11(5) of the Rules of Procedure that operationalises the non derogable right to be heard during proceedings that culminated into removing the petitioner from the office of the Commissioner  of Parliament on March, 10, 2022 was in contravention of Articles 2(1) and (2), 8A,28, 42, 44(C ), 79(3), 88  and 94(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda,” Zaake said in his petition that now awaits judgment.

The legislator also said that the act of then deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among who was the victim of Zaake’s alleged actions presiding over proceedings in parliament that led to his removal was illegal and contravened provisions of the constitution.

Zaake also stated in his petition that it was wrong and illegal for Among to make personal and individual grievances a subject of investigations by Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline which resulted in his removal as a commissioner of parliament.

“The act of the Deputy Speaker (then) of giving parliament’s committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline and ultimatum of 14 days to investigate allegations of  misconduct against the petitioner and report back to the House contravened Articles 2(1) and (2), 8A,28, 42, 44(C), 79(3)and 94(1) of the Constitution.”

He also says that the act of Parliament’s Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee investigating him over allegations of non-parliamentary work on social media outside parliament was unlawful.

According to Zaake, the presentation, debating and adoption of the motion to amend the majority report of the Parliamentary Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline to find him unfit to hold the office of the Commissioner of Parliament was illegal.

“The ex gratia payment of shs6 million to each Member of Parliament on the Committee of Rules, Privileges and Discipline as a reward  for their participation in the committee’s proceedings and subsequent decision prejudicial to the petitioner imposed an illegal charge on the consolidated fund in contravention of Article 93 of the Constitution of Uganda.”

He also says that the motion for his removal from the office of the Commissioner of Parliament was smuggled onto the floor of parliament as it was not on the order paper, contrary to Article 94(1) of the Constitution and Rule 110 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure.

We shall keep you updated on the outcome.