KAMPALA – The Mityana Municipality MP, Francis Zaake has asked Parliament’s Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline for more time to prepare his detailed submission in defense of accusations brought against him by Makerere University Vice-Chancellor Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, that he threatened to beat him up within the premises of Parliament.
His request followed a two-hour prolonged back and forth disagreements between the Committee members and Zaake after the Committee asked Zaake to explain what exactly transpired on a fateful day but Zaake remained adamant noting that he could not testify to any accusations without being presented with a copy of a letter from the complainant.
Committee Chairperson, Ongalo Obote was forced to present the letter from Nawangwe and adjourned the meeting for fifteen minutes to allow Zaake familiarize with contents of the latter, but even after the meeting resumed, Zaake remained defiant and insisted on being given two weeks to go through the evidence presented before the Committee and prepare his defense.
Zaake’s defiance angered MPs who argued that their questions to Zaake won’t be centered around the evidence before the Committee but are only interested in his version of what transpired in the Education Committee.
Zaake informed the committee that unless he is accorded time to scrutinise what was said about him he was not going to say a single word on the matter, which prompted Ongalo Obote, Chairperson Rules Committee to give him two days to prepare his defense and appear before the Committee.
The Mityana Legislator’s conduct was stemmed from the Committee’s decision to snub the meeting twice, with Zaake showing up for the meeting and the Committee members were nowhere to be seen with no explanation given for their absentia despite writing to him to attend the hearing.
In November 2019, Speaker Kadaga referred Zaake to the Rules, Privileges and Discipline Committee for investigations after accusations emerged that the Mityana Municipality MP had threatened to beat up Nawangwe.
In her ruling during plenary sitting, Speaker Kadaga accused Zaake of breach of code of conduct and that he lowered public trust in Parliament.
The incident in question happened on 6th November when Nawangwe had appeared before the Education Committee to answer queries surrounding the 15% tuition increment at Makerere University that was rejected by students who staged a strike at the University, which strike saw the army beat up students in the wee hours of the night, after dragging them from their halls or residence.