Sunday March 16 2014

Censure looms for Speaker Zziwa at EALA


By Political Xtra

Ms Margaret Zziwa’s days at the helm of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) could be numbered.

More and more EALA MPs want her impeached. From a minority and negligible one, now the word is that 15 legislators have reportedly signed a petition to impeach her.

One of the reasons for which they want her impeached is because of what is believed to be a rather high dose of intransigence swishing around her Right Honourable self. More specifically, her refusal to budge from her unusual position on rotation of sittings of the regional parliament is where the beef lies.

Her problems date back to last year when she shot down a proposal by Kenya to have each of the bloc’s five members host EALA sittings for one year during its five-year terms.

Ms Zziwa said then that it was not the appropriate time to discuss the issue.
This miffed not just the Kenyans but the Rwandese too, who, having just recently joined the bloc, would have wanted to host its sessions for at least one year straight instead of just a fortnight.

Hosting the sessions is good for the strongmen in some of the countries because they can claim to have “brought the community” to their respective countries, it is said.

Besides, though the host country has to have the hotels to host the EALA delegates, it means big business for the host country’s hospitality industry.

The other reason is that the displeasure of the Kenyans and Rwandans with Zziwa’s decision was not lost on President Museveni, who has never genuinely warmed up to her leadership of EALA.

It is just that, like he did when he in 1985 signed a peace agreement with the Tito Okello junta that had beaten him to overthrowing the Obote regime, Mr Museveni bid his time.

But his patience has since reportedly run out.
Some Ugandans, who are working to catch his eye and ear, are now encouraging their Kenyan, Rwandan, Burundian and Tanzanian MPs to impeach Zziwa.

In her place, the National Resistance Movement wants Ms Dora Byamukama, whom Ms Zziwa controversially beat to the seat in what was a rather shabby ‘election’ a few years ago.