The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Thomas Tayebwa, has referred Hon Zaake Francis to the Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline for misconduct during Tuesday afternoon’s plenary sitting.
Tayebwa urged members to stop dramatising proceedings of the House.
This was after the Mityana Municipality MP took to the floor of parliament to protest what he termed as the continued abductions of opposition members.
“Mr Speaker, only this month alone, hundreds of youth have been abducted and they have disappeared. They have not been seen or heard of,” Zaake said.
The Deputy Speaker reminded Zaake that the matter was not part of the proceedings hence advising him to take his seat. He further urged the lawmaker to meet him in his office about the matter.
Zaake refused to sit and maintained that parliament was “not doing anything” about the alleged disappearances.
This prompted Tayebwa to suspend the house for a few minutes.
When the house resumed, Tayebwa quoted Rule 175 (a) of the Rules of Procedure which states that the “Rules Committee shall by the order of the House inquire into any complaint of contempt of Parliament or breach of privilege or any matter of privilege which may be referred to it and to recommend to the House such action as the Committee may consider appropriate”.
“If you want to do drama, go and do it in your constituency, you can’t do it on this floor. If you want pictures of people holding you up and how you were arrested to use during campaigns, we can organise them for you, we are near the National theatre. As per Rule 175 of our Rules of Procedure, I refer Honorable Zaake to the Committee on Rules for disciplinary,” he ordered.
He further reminded Zaake that had he not missed over 10 sittings without permission from the House, he would have learnt that discussions over the matter have already been ongoing.
“My chambers are open. Every day colleagues are in my chambers, Opposition and NRM and you ask for space and I give you space. This House has rules and we shall go by them. No one will be allowed to blackmail the House.”
In successive tweets, Zaake said: “Judge and criticize me if you wish but history will remember that I turned up whenever the occasion demanded. The abduction, disappearance and extra-judicial killing of hundreds of our people is too grave a matter of public interest for us to continue treating it lightly!”
Judge and criticize me if you wish but history will remember that I turned up whenever the occasion demanded. The abduction, disappearance and extra judicial killing of hundreds of our people is too grave a matter of public interest for us to continue treating it lightly! pic.twitter.com/1vHWXUqa0e
— Zaake Francis (@ZaakeFrancis) November 29, 2022
He added: “We want our people back! If you killed them, give us their bodies and we accord them the decency and dignity that they deserve in death. Their families must get closure!”
He was backed by National Unity Platform (NUP) leader, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, who tweeted: “I applaud you Hon. Zaake Francis for making in Parliament today this passionate submission against the rampant abduction of our comrades. This is a matter of utmost urgency which all leaders must condemn and seek an immediate halt to.”
In February this year, Zaake lost his position as Commissioner of Parliament for alleged abusive tweets against the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among.
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