The Parliamentary Committee on Rules, Privileges, and Discipline has decided not to call Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa to testify in the ongoing disciplinary proceedings against Mityana Municipality MP Francis Zaake.
The incident dates back to November 29, 2022, when Zaake sought a parliamentary resolution regarding the alleged abduction of former presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi and other National Unity Platform (NUP) supporters. During his speech, Deputy Speaker Tayebwa instructed Zaake to sit down, but Zaake refused, leading to a five-minute suspension of the House before Zaake was sent to the committee.
During the recent committee session, Vice Chairperson Charles Onen explained that Tayebwa’s testimony was unnecessary as the required information could be gleaned from video recordings.
This decision surprised Zaake’s lawyer, Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, who argued that without Tayebwa’s presence, the committee lacks grounds to accuse Zaake and has failed to specify which rule he violated.
Lukwago further expressed concerns that the Parliament leadership is engaging in a “witch-hunt” against Zaake, aiming to tarnish his reputation.
Chief opposition whip John Baptist Nambeshe, who testified on Tuesday, stated that Tayebwa had no justification for sending Zaake to the disciplinary committee, as all grievances were supposedly resolved during the brief House suspension.
Furthermore, Zaake alleges that the Parliament leadership is engaging in a “witch-hunt” against him, aimed at damaging his reputation.
Chief opposition whip John Baptist Nambeshe, a witness on Tuesday’s session, voiced his opinion that Tayebwa had no reason to refer Zaake to the disciplinary committee, as all grievances were seemingly resolved during the five-minute House suspension.
This underscores the complexity of the disciplinary proceedings and raises questions about the transparency and fairness of the process. As the case continues to unfold, it remains to be seen how the committee will proceed in the absence of Deputy Speaker Tayebwa’s testimony.