By Nkonge I Kaggwa in Kampala – Uganda
Embattled East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) Speaker Margaret Nantongo Zziwa has come out fighting to question the way she was suspended and removed from office. Calling it a coup d’état, Ms Zziwa said the act by the EALA Special Session and Committee on Legal Privileges and Discipline that suspended her when it recently sat in the Kenyan capital Nairobi was ‘a notable illegality’.
In her first press conference since she was suspended last week, Ms Zziwa who was accompanied by her lawyers from Kampala Associated Advocates and three other members of parliament, told the press she is not going to look away as such illegalities are being meted out against her by those abusing the Office of the Speaker of the EALA. At one point during the press conference which was held here Wednesday, Ms Zziwa termed her detractors at a certain point as “bulls***s” saying the claims being considered to be used for her removal from office were baseless, childish and based on intrigue’.
She told the media that the Special Session that sat in Nairobi on the 17th of November that brought about the confusion in the assembly was a “game plan” by few legislators including, among others, the Chairperson on the committee on rules, privileges and discipline, Dorah Byamukama, the Secretary General of the EALA Dr Richard Sezibera and the Ugandan minister in charge of the East African community, Shem Bageine who she alleged duped the Clerk to the Assembly to call a Special Session that ‘illegally’ suspended her from office without following ‘the proper procedures as per the rules and the treaty of the East African Community’ (EAC).
The EALA suspended Speaker said the motion they are basing on to remove her from office suffered ‘a still birth’ as many of the members who signed the motion withdrew their signatures. “I have written to them several times that their motion is no longer substantive but they continue hanging on it,” she reasoned.