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EALA Speaker suspended pending investigation

27 November 2014, 12:39 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - The East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) has finally pushed out its Speaker, Margret Zziwa, making it easy for impeachment proceedings that have stalled since April to start.

Members of the Assembly sitting in Nairobi’s County Hall suspended Zziwa for 21 days to allow the committee on Legal, Rules and Procedure to investigate claims of abuse of office and misconduct.

The assembly applied Article 9(3) provisions of the Rules of Procedure and Annex three of the Treaty that establishes the East African Community, and appointed Uganda’s MP, Chris Opaka as a temporary Speaker pending the investigation of Zziwa conduct in office.

The irked legislators signed a petition asking the clerk of the assembly to convene an extraordinary session to deliberate on the speaker’s action of forcefully adjourning the House’s normal sittings to Tuesday.

Also read: Four women chosen for 9 EALA slots

Under annex three of rule of procedure of EALA, the clerk is empowered to preside over the proceedings for the appointment of a member to preside over House proceedings in the absence of the substantive Speaker.

Thus, the clerk proceeded to handle the request signed by 33 legislators pursuant to Article 53(3) of the Treaty.

Kenya’s legislator in EALA, Peter Mathuki proposed Opaka to take over Zziwa’s position and was elected unopposed.

If the committee finds Zziwa guilty of the charges, Uganda, whose turn is to head the post of EALA Speakership, will nominate another person in her place.

The seat of EALA Speaker is rotational among the five EAC member States-Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

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