Mr Francis Zaake, the Mityana Municipality legislator. PHOTO/FILE

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What if Zaake doesn’t apologise?

What you need to know:

  • If he does not say sorry, Section 91 of the Rules of Procedure shall be invoked.

Mr Francis Zaake, the Mityana Municipality legislator, will likely face repercussions if he refuses to apologise to the House.

Ms Anita Among, the deputy Speaker of Parliament, on March 10 directed Mr Zaake to make the apology following his ejection from the Parliamentary Commissioner position last Thursday.

Mr Charles Onen, the deputy chairperson of the Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee, told Daily Monitor yesterday that they did not highlight the penalties in the report because the Rules of Procedure are very clear on such matters.

“If he does not say sorry, Section 91 of the Rules of Procedure shall be invoked. The penalties will be accorded to him in his current capacity as a legislator because now, he is an ordinary member of the House,” Mr Onen said.

Mr Erias Lukwago, the Kampala Lord Mayor, also leading the team of legal representatives for Zaake, told Daily Monitor it does not make sense for Mr Zaake to make an apology after losing his commissioner Job.

“This is where they goofed. They should have maybe said they were giving Hon Zaake one week to apologise or else they remove him from the Commission. Now, they removed him from the Commission and still want an apology?” Mr Lukwago said, adding that this subjects Mr Zaake to double jeopardy, which is unconstitutional as accorded punishment has to be served once.

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Mr Mathias Mpuuga, on March 11 stated during a press briefing that the Opposition would support their colleague throughout his entire process of seeking justice.

Mr Zaake, a National Unity Platform member, is yet to make an official communication on the matter.

The law
Section 91 of the Rules of Procedure (for the 11th Parliament) states that defamatory statements are investigated by the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline.

Sub-section (2) stipulates that where the Committee reports to the House that the statement made by the member is defamatory of any person, the member who made the statement shall, within seven days after that report, render an apology at the bar of the House, the terms of which shall be approved by the Committee and communicated to the person who was defamed.

Sub-section (3) requires that where a member refuses to render an apology in accordance with sub rule (2), the Speaker, upon the circumstances of the matter being reported to him or her by the chairperson of the Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee shall suspend that member for the duration of the session.

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