Opposition Commissioner of Parliament Francis Zaake has petitioned the Rules Committee Chairperson Abdu Katuntu asking his interface with the committee be held on Monday next week.
The legislator was expected to appear before the committee to defend himself over the allegations that he insulted the Deputy Speaker of Parliament Anita Among. The MP asked the Committee chairman to reschedule the meeting because he was on official duties.
The MP is accused of insulting the integrity of Parliament after he last week took to social media and used offensive language to express his dissatisfaction with the Deputy Speaker’s statement regarding his alleged torture.
Raising the matter, Martin Mapenduzi said that he intended to move a motion to have Zaake is relieved of his duties as a commissioner for denigrating the integrity of Parliament and Office of the Speaker in breach of Rules 84 and 85 of the Rules of Procedure and Paragraph 5 of the Code of Conduct of Members.
“All of us may have our own emotions and issues to deal with but there are avenues in our Rules of Procedure through which anything done by the presiding officer can be challenged. The member never exercised any of the remedies provided in the rules but chose to go to social media,” Mapenduzi said.
The matter was supported by the Soroti West Division MP; Jonathan Ebwalu who said Zaake’s use of unparliamentary language on social media against the person of the Deputy Speaker was in bad faith and demeaned the office of the Speaker and institution of parliament.
“The intention was to damage; lower the character and status of the Speaker and the reputation of this Parliament. It is our obligation to defend Parliament from any attack. We need to enact laws to check cyber bullying, cyber harassment, blackmail and intimidation,” he said.
Esther Afoyochan, one of the Backbench commissioners disassociated her from the social media utterances attributed to Zaake saying that the House should deal with the matter in accordance with the House’s prescribed guidelines.
Deputy Speaker, Anita Among referred the matter to the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline for further investigations.
And, yesterday, the four complaint MPs appeared before Parliament’s Rules Committee chaired by legislator Abdu Katuntu to present a formal complaint against Zaake. The group accuses Zaake of insulting the integrity of Parliament after he last week took to social media and used offensive language to express his dissatisfaction with the Deputy Speaker’s statement regarding his alleged torture.