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EA Legislative Assembly members gang up to sack Speaker

18 November 2014, 11:41 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – The East Africa Legislative Assembly (EALA) is rocked with a serious split as majority of members have united to sack the Speaker, Margret Zziwa for abuse of office and incompetence that has led to paralyzing its normal operations.

The more than 32 members confirmed to the media at a press conference held at Parliament Buildings that they have collected more than two thirds signatures to remove Zziwa from office.

The members led by EALA Secretary Crisis Management, Nderekindo Kessy, said the Speaker on several occasions has been deliberately rejecting efforts made by members to address problems the Assembly is faced with hence the move to sack her.

“A majority of members being in excess of two thirds have lost confidence in the Speaker and they will move a motion for her removal during Assembly’s sitting in Nairobi,” said Kessy.

The differences between those defending Zziwa and those against her were witnessed at Parliament Buildings when they both hosted two separate briefings.

Zziwa accompanied by her supporters was the first to address the media where she said every member has the right to express their concerns while Kessy’s group opposed to her leadership vowed to force the Speaker to reschedule the censure motion for debate tomorrow during the sitting.

Also read: Four women chosen for 9 EALA slots

The members accuse Zziwa of poor governance and leadership skills, abuse of office and disrespect and intimidation of members and staff.

The members also accuses Zziwa of deeply involving her family in the affairs of the Assembly, especially her husband whose interventions members say have been disruptive, disrespectful and posed veiled threats to members.

She is further accused of misallocation of resources earmarked for the Assembly where she is said to have a personal interest, practicing nepotism where she has consistently favored some members of the assembly in the allocation of foreign trips, and using the media to slander and character assassinate members.

“The Speaker banged the table in a meeting of chairpersons of chapters during January 2014 plenary held in Kampala when they went to advise her on a number of issues,” reads the motion the members have drafted to pass for his removal from office.

The Assembly’s sittings to kicking off November 17 to Dec 5, 2014 will be inaugurated tomorrow (Wednesday) by President Uhuru Kenyatta who is also EA Head States chair However, members opposed Zziwa declared that they will not boycott Kenyatta’s official opening of the sittings because “it is part of the programme of the Assembly.”

“We shall attend because it is a special session but then we shall have to get back the motion for her censure once the president speech is delivered,” said EALA member, Joseph Kiangoi.

Apart from President Uhuru’s official address, the assembly will debate EAC Cooperatives Bill, 2014, EAC Integration Education Bill, 2014 and the EAC Cross Boarder Legal Practice Bill, 2014.

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